Anyone who suffers from low back pain which persists for more than a couple weeks should definitely alert their family doctor to the fact. In some cases, your doctor will then refer you to a physical therapist who can educate you about performing some at-home exercises and stretches which will help to relieve your pain and discomfort.
It’s also possible that some home remedies like applying heat or cold to the affected area, or using over-the-counter pain medications can be effective up to a point. Either your doctor or the physical therapist will attempt to discover the underlying cause of your low back pain, and that will be the area focused on in any treatment program. If you do get referred to a physical therapist, here are some of the treatment options they may recommend, and have you working on.
Manipulation and mobilization
Anyone who has stiffness in their spine might be recommended by a physical therapist to perform mobilization or manipulation. These two techniques are often carried out by chiropractors, but physical therapists are aware of the techniques as well. Stiffness usually results from osteoarthritis or some other cause, and that stiffness has to be relieved in order for the patient to be comfortable.
In the case of manipulation, the therapist will use rapid and short movements over a particular joint in the body, while the patient is in a pre-determined position. Mobilization makes use of some of the same positions, but the technique would be somewhat gentler and slower when applied.
A number of exercises promote stabilization, and these will be recommended for individuals who experience pain when performing certain types of motions, such as rising from a chair or a bed. This kind of discomfort will occur because muscles which are situated deep in your core have become weakened, and they are unable to help stabilize the spine as they should.
Many people who have back pain are unable to correctly engage muscles needed for daily activities, and that means other surrounding muscles become too tense and tight as they attempt to stabilize the spine. Given that this is not their primary role, it will often be felt as tightness and pain by the patient. The whole point of stabilization exercises is to help to retrain those deep core muscles, so that the spine can be better stabilized.
Repetitive motion may help someone with back pain when their pain is a result of pressure or irritation on nerves, usually as a result of spinal stenosis or a bulging disc. When one of these conditions occurs, pain will generally travel down the leg, and it will be experienced as weakness, tingling, or numbness by the patient. In some cases, this kind of leg pain can be even more intense than a patient might feel in their lower back.
Bulging discs occur when one of the cushioning discs between vertebrae is out of place and exerts pressure on nerves in the area. If pain in the leg can be minimized with repetitive motion, that will go a long way toward alleviating the discomfort felt by a patient. As an example, someone who feels more pain when bending forward may be helped by performing exercises that call for bending backward, because this will help to relieve pressure on certain nerves.
There’s actually an entire known series of such exercises, call the Mackenzie Exercises, which can be performed by an individual suffering from lower back pain. Repetitive motion can often be very effective when used as a counterbalance to any discomfort the patient is feeling, because it relieves pressure on the nerves.
Contact us for back pain relief
If you’re someone who has been troubled by persistent back pain for an extended period of time, you should call us at the South Florida Disc and Spine Center. We offer a number of non-surgical options for chronic lower back, neck, and joint pain, and we have been voted the number one clinic for this type of non-invasive treatment in all of Palm Beach County.
Our specialists have had years of experience in treating all kinds of chronic pain involving the back, neck, and other joints, and we feel confident that we’ll be able to significantly reduce or eliminate your pain as well. Contact us at your earliest convenience, to ask any questions you may have, or to set up an initial consultation. Take that first step toward a pain-free lifestyle, and get back to enjoying life to the fullest again.