Dating back to the days of ancient Greece, physical therapy (PT) is one of the oldest and most reliable treatments for back pain management, and it has since evolved into a type of therapy that can take many different forms. Each of the following types of PT can benefit people with back pain in different ways.
An orthopedic physical therapist helps patients recover from injury or damage to bones, muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. This is the type of therapist who often sees patients with sports-related injuries or back pain that’s related to bones (vertebrae) or joints of the spine and nearby soft tissues.
A geriatric physical therapist typically recommends gentle yet effective exercises likely to strengthen bones and muscles in older patients. Geriatric PT may be provided for seniors recovering from surgery or those who are living with back pain related to conditions such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease.
The goal of neurological PT is to restore mobility as much as possible. Therapists may work with patients recovering from spinal cord injuries or those with nonspecific lower back pain likely stemming from some degree of nerve damage.
Back pain in people under 18 is treated very differently than similar problems in adults. Any techniques a pediatric physical therapist uses must take into account how bones and joints are developing. Because children can’t always verbalize their pain clearly, therapists also play a role in diagnosing sources of childhood back pain.
Primarily recommended for patients with heart conditions, cardiovascular PT also offers potential benefits for those with back pain. The focus of these sessions is often on increasing range of motion and endurance by boosting circulation, which can ease back pain and promote the efficient delivery of nutrients to tissues supporting the spine.
Most therapists coordinate with doctors or Beverly Hills back surgeons to determine what type of PT will likely be beneficial for their patients. They also typically play a role in helping achieve an accurate diagnosis of the source of a patient’s back pain so the PT sessions can be appropriately adjusted and customized.
If PT has not completely alleviated your back pain, it’s possible you might need some form of surgery. At The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, we specialize in spinal fusion and alternatives like the coflex surgery Beverly Hills patients sometimes receive. Give us a call at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.