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Can physical therapy help with back pain?

Physical Therapist helping a patient stretch

When you find yourself experiencing back pain, your mind can jump to all kinds of conclusions. You might think of all the surgeries and complex procedures that seem necessary to fix your pain – but that’s not always the case.

In fact, here at Spine Team Texas, approximately 92% of our patients do not require surgery to rectify their pain and get their lives back. Instead, many visit with our Mackenzie-certified physical therapists and have a plan developed for them that manages their pain.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is when trained professionals – known as physical therapists – develop targeted exercise and movement plans for a patient to help improve abnormal function. This can be anything from enabling movement in stiff joints through to restoring ability that was previously limited from pain.

Typically physical therapy will fall into one of the following three categories, depending on your needs.

  1. Repeated Motion – this is typically used for nerve pain or pressure, like that caused by spinal stenosis or sciatica. 
  2. Stabilization – this is the stabilization of the muscles surrounding your injury. This helps to limit the pressure placed on your injury.
  3. Manipulation – this is typically to restore movement in otherwise stiff or unmoving portions of the body.

How Does Physical Therapy Help With Back Pain?

Physical therapy can be used to treat back pain via what we call passive and active treatments –  they could include stretching, strengthening movements and low impact aerobic exercise. Whether your back pain is caused by muscle, tendon or bone complaints, the trained therapist is able to develop a program customized to you and restoring your normal function. 

Now, of course physical therapy is not a one-size-fits-all cure. It requires work and dedication on the patient’s part, but it can often limit or prevent the need for surgery or ongoing pain management medications. In fact, a study published recently found that starting physical therapy decreases the long-term need for surgery or medications.

If you think physical therapy may be the right option for you – get in touch with our expert team to discuss a treatment plan.