Do you find walking, playing sports, or even sitting and standing a challenge because of back pain? If so, you may be miserable, but you’re hardly alone. It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of Americans has struggled, or will struggle, with this debilitating symptom. For many, the only thing worse than the back pain itself is the nightmarish prospect of having to undergo major surgery to relieve it. So you’ll be happy to know that there are non-invasive options to help you stand up to your back pain — including physical therapy. Contact Appalachian Physical Therapy and discover this form of relief for yourself!
What Is Back Pain?
Back pain is one of those symptoms that can plague for 24/7 or some and go seemingly at will. It can take the form of a vague ache, sharp or “electric” pain sensations, stabbing agony or a burning feeling. It can occur in your upper back, middle back, or lower back. But with all of these variations, back pain falls into one of two principal categories:
- Acute back pain – Acute back pain seems to attack you suddenly, even if shock or other circumstances actually delays its initial onset for hours or days. It is associated with acute injuries, infections, or other sudden-onset conditions. Thankfully, acute back pain fade as away on its own once the underlying injury has healed itself (with or without physical therapy and other forms of care).
- Chronic back pain – Unlike acute back pain, chronic back pain refuses to go away for good. Any back pain that continues to bother after 3 months can be considered chronic in nature. You may experience bouts of pain interrupted by periods of relief, or you may suffer from unremitting pain.
What’s Causing Your Back Pain?
Acute back pain can be caused by a violent disc herniation, ruptured ligament, muscle tear, infected tissue, or vertebral subluxation (a subtle kind of joint dislocation). The underlying cause is usually easy to determine. Chronic back pain can be more puzzling, if only because it has so many possible causes, such as:
- Strain or arthritis in the facet joints, which connect and articulate the spinal vertebrae
- Chronic muscle strain due to alignment problems, poor posture or muscle weakness
- Repetitive motion strain due to uncomfortable workplace ergonomics or athletic overuse
- Obesity, which stresses the back muscles
Age-related bulging discs, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis.
How Does Physical Therapy Help Back Pain?
Physical therapy could be just what the doctor (or physical therapist) ordered for your back pain issues. Our physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation that takes your spinal alignment, any obvious injuries, baseline back strength, range of motion, age, weight, workplace ergonomics, and other factors into consideration. This thorough approach enables us to prescribe a multi-modal physical therapy program to help you overcome your back pain without surgery. Your back may benefit from:
- Strength training and neuromuscular education to help you maintain a straighter, healthier back
- Stretches and other flexibility exercises to make back motion easier and less painful
- Recommendations for ergonomic changes in your workplace, which can reduce awkward twisting, stooping or stretching
- Recommendations for changing how you play or train for your favorite sport, as a means of avoiding repetitive motion injuries or acute sports injuries.
We can implement your physical therapy program alongside other safe, natural treatment methods from your chiropractor or family doctor. The first step, however, is yours to take. Contact one of our three offices today to learn more about how we can help you conquer back pain!