Active Physical Therapy Against Back Pain

The statistic shows that almost 70% of people are faced with back pain and have to visit a physiotherapist. Back pain may be caused by musculoskeletal injuries like joint dysfunction, muscular strains, ligament sprains; or sustained overstress injuries or traumatic injuries that may tear or damage the structures. Sustained overstress injuries are probably more common but also easier to prevent. In this case, an accumulated microtrauma that overloads the lower back structures for a long period of time may cause injury and back pain.

Fortunately, we can avoid these painful feelings if we consult with an expert physiotherapist who will not only guide you through the rehabilitation process but also teach you the practices and exercises, that will help you to stay up and running. Proper early diagnosis and treatment will help to recover and avoid back pain.

The goals of physical therapy are to decrease pain, increase function, and provide education on a maintenance program to prevent further recurrences. Usually, a physical therapy program consists of passive therapy (modalities) and active exercises.

Depending on the diagnosis and pain level, there might be different rehabilitation programs for each patient.

Active exercises are almost always necessary in the rehabilitation process and help relieve back pain. Properly done exercises will result in the distribution of a good nutrient inside the disc space and will keep the discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy.

A workout of back exercises should be balanced and include a combination of stretching, strengthening, and low-impact aerobic conditioning. Stretching will bring benefits to the soft tissues in the back, legs, buttock, and around the spine. The spinal column and its contiguous muscles, ligaments, and tendons are all designed to move, and limitations in this motion can make back pain worse.

When starting a stretching routine it is important to remember that stretching should be pain-free, there is no sense in forcing the body into difficult positions. Move into the stretch slowly avoiding bouncing, which may tear muscles. Hold stretches for twenty-thirty seconds to let muscles or joints relax. Repeat the stretch for five-ten times.

Core muscle strengthening is also important in lower back pain treatment. It is important to perform the exercises correctly in order to see benefits.

Low impact aerobics are important for long term pain reduction. There are many options available, such as walking, bicycling swimming or water therapy.

McKenzie exercises and dynamic lumbar stabilization are two most commonly used back exercises.

McKenzie exercises are named after a physical therapist in New Zealand who found that extending the spine through exercise could reduce pain. Extension exercises may also help reduce the herniation of the disc itself and reduce pressure on a nerve root. There is a wide range of McKenzie exercises, some of which are done standing up while others are performed lying down. All of these upper and lower back exercises use core muscle contraction and, usually, arm motions to stabilize the trunk and extend the spine.

Lumbar stabilization back exercises may also be done in conjunction with McKenzie exercises. The lumbar stabilization exercises help strengthen the back.

The important aspect is that the exercise includes controlled, progressive strengthening exercises. Alternative forms of strengthening exercises can be found in such practices as pilates, yoga, and tai chi.

It may take weeks or even months of practicing to mobilize the spine and soft tissues but will bring a reliable relief in the future.