Since most forms of back pain respond well to exercise, it’s no surprise that physical therapy is often recommended for patients seeking relief. The main benefit of PT is that sessions can be customized based on abilities, goals, and comfort level. By actively participating in each session, back pain sufferers can enjoy the many other benefits often associated with physical therapy.
Offering More Than Just Exercise
Before a session even begins, a physical therapist will have a basic understanding a patient’s condition and will have coordinated efforts with their primary care physician or Los Angeles spine surgeon to ensure patient safety. Common PT goals for back pain patients include:
- Restoring flexibility and joint mobility
- Strengthening muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Improving range of motion
Physical therapists help patients better understand their back pain by pointing out factors likely contributing to it, such as poor posture. Therapists want patients to learn what they can do to minimize the risk of experiencing pain in the future, a goal often achieved with:
- Tips on how to properly sit and stand to minimize discomfort
- Instruction on how to safely perform common activities
- Guidance on proper lifting techniques
Passive Physical Therapy
Passive sessions involve efforts to decrease pain through passive participation, meaning through conservative spine treatments applied to the patient. Referred to as modalities, such techniques can include:
- Application of heat or ice
- Iontophoresis, or the passage of a weak electric current through the skin
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) units, used primarily for nerve pain
Active Physical Therapy
Stretching exercises are the most common form of active PT, with hamstring stretches especially beneficial for patients with low back pain. Such exercises help by building muscle strength, increasing the stability of the spine, and minimizing pain from muscle strain. Active PT can also include:
- Low-impact aerobic conditioning
- Dynamic stabilization exercises
- Core muscle strengthening
Therapists often encourage patients to take steps on their own between sessions to further strengthen muscles and reduce the risk of re-injury. Communication is also important, with patients encouraged to be honest about what they’re feeling and experiencing so that sessions can as productive as possible.
Learn more about effective treatments for back pain relief by reaching out to The Spine Institute Center in Los Angeles at (310) 828-7757. We are a leader in spinal fusion and non-fusion surgeries, including motion-preserving spine surgery and decompression spinal surgery. Reach out today and get started down the path toward a pain-free life.