Low Back Pain – What you need to know

If you have low back pain, you are not alone. At any given time, about 25% of people in the United States report having low back pain within the past 3 months. In most cases, low back pain is mild and disappears on its own. For some people, back pain can return or hang on, leading to a decrease in quality of life or even to disability. Physical therapists help people with low back pain improve or restore mobility and reduce their pain.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of low back pain vary a great deal. Your pain might be dull, burning, or sharp. You might feel it at a single point or over a broad area. It might be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness. Sometimes, it might spread into 1 or both legs.

There are 3 different types of low back pain:

– Acute – pain lasting less than 3 months

– Recurrent – acute symptoms come back

– Chronic – pain lasting longer than 3 months

Most people who have an episode of acute pain will have at least 1 recurrence. While the actual cause of low back pain isn’t often known, symptoms usually resolve on their own. Psychosocial factors, such as self-confidence and a perceived ability to cope with disability, have been shown to be predictors of who might not recover from low back pain as expected. We used to believe the cause of low back pain was related directly to the tissues of our body, but are now understanding the condition to be more complex.

Although low back pain is rarely serious or life threatening, there are several conditions that may be related to your low back pain, such as:

– Degenerative disk disease

– Lumbar spinal stenosis

– Fractures

– Herniated disk

– Osteoarthritis

– Osteoporosis

– Tumors of the spine

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

Your physical therapist can help you improve or restore mobility and reduce low back pain—in many cases, without expensive surgery or the side effects of medications.

Not all low back pain is the same, so your treatment should be tailored to for your specific symptoms and condition. Once the examination is complete, your physical therapist will evaluate the results, identify the factors that have contributed to your specific back problem, and design an individualized treatment plan for your specific back problem. Treatments may include:

– Manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, to improve the mobility of joints and soft tissues

– Specific strengthening and flexibility exercises

– Education about how you can take better care of your back

– Training for proper lifting, bending, and sitting; for doing chores both at work and in the home; and for proper sleeping positions

– Assistance in creating a safe and effective physical activity program to improve your overall health

Contact Well Done Physical Therapy in Waco, TX as soon as possible so we can help create an individualized physical therapy regimen to help you recover.

Further Reading

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) believes that consumers should have access to information that could help them make health care decisions, and also prepare them for their visit with their health care provider.

 

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