There are many treatment options available and Physical Therapy (PT) is one of them. Physical Therapy can be effective at treating the symptoms associated with back pain such as loss of range of motion, strength, and difficulty performing daily and work related activities. Physical Therapy can also help prevent future episodes of back pain by teaching core strength exercises, helping to maintain flexibility and demonstrating proper body mechanics (called “ergonomics”).
Who is your Physical Therapist and how does it work?
Your Physical Therapist will conduct a thorough examination and assessment and work with you to develop goals to help you improve function. A Physical Therapist is considered a movement specialist and is licensed by the state.
Most likely, you will be given a series of exercises to treat your specific symptoms. In addition, your therapist will educate you in ways to use your spine properly while sitting, standing and lifting.
The flexibility of several key muscle groups of the spine, hips and lower extremities impact the normal movement and healthy function of your spine. These muscle groups are:
- Hip flexors
In general, stretching should be performed gently. The stretch should be held for 20-30 seconds and repeated several times and on each side of the body if appropriate.
Your body core muscles support and protect your spine. These muscles groups include hip, pelvic, abdominal and back muscles. Your Physical Therapist will work with you to identify the specific exercises needed to strengthen the core muscles, and will instruct you in the proper ways to safely start and progress with this program.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. This can be broken up in shorter bouts of exercise, like brisk walking.
Proper ergonomic design and practice is helpful in preventing injuries. Ergonomics involves being aware of proper sitting, standing or bending positions and safe lifting techniques. Ergonomics can involve equipment to assist with computer work, like a keyboard tray, an ergonomic mouse or an adjustable chair.