Physical Therapy for Back Pain: What to Expect

Back pain affects a lot of people, both young and old. If you’re one of those people who suffer from this condition, you know the pain can make even the smallest activities seem torturous. Many times, conservative treatments at home just don’t do the trick to get you feeling back to normal. 

That’s where the Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico comes in. Dr. Omar Osmani and our staff are very skilled in back pain treatment. Dr. Osmani works with physical therapists to facilitate your recovery and get you back to doing the activities you love. Although just one piece of the puzzle, physical therapy can be very helpful in long-term treatment of back problems.

Causes of back pain

Back pain is one of the most common types of chronic pain, and sometimes results in missed work or, in severe cases, disability. It can cause you and your family a lot of frustration and distress, so getting it under control is usually your first priority. There are many different reasons that you may be suffering from back pain, including:

Injury causes back pain a lot of the time, but postural issues can also lead to pain over time. This includes sitting incorrectly and bending forward often. These movements can cause strain on your muscles and vertebrae over time, leading to pain.

Unless the cause of your back pain is addressed, treatments will only give you relief for a short period of time. The goal of physical therapy is to help you improve your posture and muscle tone and complement other treatments that improve your symptoms.

How can physical therapy help?

Physical therapy is very helpful in treating a variety of conditions, including back problems. It’s usually combined with other forms of treatment to provide you with long-term relief. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your posture and your mobility, and to strengthen your body. 

Once we determine which movements cause your pain, and we diagnose your condition, our physical therapy team formulates a treatment plan with exercises to help alleviate the areas that are riddled with discomfort.

There are several categories of physical therapy exercises for back pain that include:

For example, if you have nerve pain from either a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, a repetitive motion plan of treatment may help alleviate some of your pain. With these conditions, pain may worsen by bending forward or backward. If your pain is worse with forward bending, exercises that emphasize backward bending may help take pressure off of your irritated nerve, causing less pain. 

Stabilization exercises can help you if you have pain with certain movements, or if you move your spine in an abnormal way. This is usually caused by lack of deep muscle tone in your abdomen and back muscles. To help this condition, the therapist helps you to retrain your abdominal muscles to help support your spine, and then works on exercises that help to stabilize the movement of your back.

What to expect at your appointment

At your initial physical therapy appointment, your therapist asks you questions about your pain, and performs an assessment of your symptoms. They may also test your mobility with strength or movement. You should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing so you can move freely.

Once your therapist has a good idea of where your pain is and your mobility, they develop a plan for your treatment. Along with exercises, your therapist may introduce other types of techniques, including:

We also use other techniques, such as core strengthening exercises and traction to improve your pain and discomfort.

These types of therapies are often used in conjunction with stretching techniques and simple exercises that strengthen your back to prevent further pain or injury.

If you’ve been experiencing uncontrolled back pain and would like more information on physical therapy and our other treatment options, call our office today at 575-623-9101 or book an appointment with one of our providers online.

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