Is Chronic Back Pain Slowing You Down? PT is the Answer
Did you know that approximately 80 percent of Americans have experienced (or will experience) back pain?
Do you feel as if your chronic back pain has locked you out of your own life? This nagging, excruciating symptom can stem from a variety of underlying causes, in some cases growing progressively worse from day to day until you can hardly move at all.
Chronic back pain can prevent you from performing the countless daily tasks you need or want to perform. Even when you’re not engaged in activity, your back pain may be keeping you miserable 24/7. But don’t assume that drugs can provide more than temporary relief, or that surgery won’t create more problems than it solves.
Even with these awful limitations, however, you may be understandably wary of subjecting your back to the risks of major surgery. The good news is that you may not need to go to such extremes, thanks to physical therapy.
A skilled physical therapist can often identify the source of your pain, developing a personalized treatment program that doesn’t involve drugs or surgery in any way.
How did my back pain develop?
Most people, it seems, are no strangers to back pain. Low back pain, in particular, plagues an estimated fourth-fifths of adults at some point or another. Many of these issues are related to acute injuries such as auto accidents, sports accidents, or workplace injuries caused by improper lifting practices.
As these injuries heal themselves, the pain is supposed to fade away. In other conditions such as pregnancy, back pain disappears after the baby is born and the body resumes its normal weight and spinal alignment.
Sometimes, however, back pain develops into chronic misery. Some conditions such as spinal arthritis, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis don’t heal themselves, leaving you with constant or recurring pain.
Other kinds of chronic back pain occur due to repetitive motion injuries and soft tissue strain. Poor workplace or sports ergonomics, weak back muscles that don’t support a normal posture, or musculoskeletal irregularities such as fallen arches can place your upper or lower back in a state of ongoing agony.
Have you been fearing the treatment for your chronic back pain more than the pain itself? Many back pain sufferers are rightfully concerned about the prospect of taking large numbers of painkillers, which may reduce their pain temporarily while creating their own long-term complications.
They may be even more afraid to undergo a major spinal surgery such as vertebral fusion, a procedure which may leave you even more limited in your range of motion, prove completely ineffective against the pain, or possibly even make the pain worse.
Common causes of chronic back pain include:
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Chronic muscle strain from an unbalanced posture or weak back muscles
- Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis of the spine
- A narrowing of the spinal canal known as spinal stenosis
- An old back injury that failed to heal properly, leaving you with internal scarring and chronic stiffness
How physical therapy can help you
Chronic back pain refers to pain that lasts more than three months. It is a progressive pain that gradually worsens with time and basic daily activities.
Furthermore, the specific cause of back pain may remain unknown. A person simply may not know what caused it or pinpoint a point of origin.
The smartest way to fight chronic back pain is by helping your back function more normally – and the smartest way to do that is through physical therapy.
Our physical therapist can confirm the cause of your upper or lower back pain, from a degenerative condition to strained muscles or an unbalanced body.
You may benefit from a physical therapy program that includes:
- Chiropractic adjustments to normalize your spinal alignment and improve spinal joint function
- Alternating cryotherapy and heat therapy to relieve tissue pain and inflammation
- Cold laser therapy and/or massage therapy to soothe, warm, and relax tight muscles and connective tissues
- Lifestyle changes to prevent unnecessary strain due to awkward workplace or sports ergonomics
- Stabilization exercises to help keep your spinal components in place as you perform everyday tasks (from sitting in a chair to getting out of bed)
- Orthotics to compensate for foot or leg imbalances that are straining your muscles
- Strengthening exercises to help you enjoy better spinal support and maintain a straighter posture
- Flexibility exercises to gently and carefully extend your pain-free range of back motion
Find relief today
Gain control over your chronic back pain by making your back healthier. Contact Back to Work Physical Therapy today!