When it comes to choosing the best treatment for back pain relief, there are important aspects to be considered. Is the pain acute or chronic, body type, posture or alignment and age? If the lower back pain is moderate, it is not always necessary to see an orthopedist or chiropractor.
A qualified physical therapist is able to assist you.
Physical therapy focuses on key elements – how to decrease your pain, increase your lower back’s function and educate on how to maintain your lower back properly.
Physical therapy for back pain relief involves two key aspects – modalities; passive, active and strengthening exercises. Popular modalities used by the physical therapist are heat/cold, electrical stimulation, ultra sound, iontophoresis with medication, cold laser and traction.
Some patients are receptive to ice packs while others might respond better to heat packs. This treatment is not only the easiest but is effective in reducing muscle spasms and inflammation.
In the case of lontophoresis for back pain relief, steroids are administered by electricity or ultrasound through the skin. The activated steroids move to the acutely painful areas and create an anti-inflammatory effect.
Ultrasound involves the application of deep heat via sound waves to penetrate soft tissue. This is excellent for healing tissue and relieving acute pain.
Low volt electrical stimulation is another excellent method to reduce muscle spasms associated with lower back pain.
One way of applying a mechanical stretch to the lower back is pelvic traction which stretches the lumbar spine slowly and methodically.
The most recent modality utilized is cold low level light laser which is an application of light directed at certain points to soothe tight muscles thus reducing acute pain.
When it comes to exercises, emphasis should be on stretching especially lumbar and hamstring musculature. Dynamic lumbar stabilizing and Mckenzie exercises are highly recommended to strengthen core muscles.
The physical therapist will teach you the proper way to perform all these exercises. For ensuring long term back pain relief, it is customary for physical therapists to recommend low-impact aerobic exercises like swimming, walking and cycling. Normally, doing this type of exercise for thirty to forty minutes at least 3 times a week would be proposed.
A long time ago, it was thought that bed rest was important for back pain relief but not any longer. Instead medical experts advise anyone suffering from back pain to remain active. This also applies to lower back pain with sciatic symptoms. Sciatic pain associated with the back is the presence of radiating pain and or numbness in the buttocks or down the lower extremities. Being active with these conditions is highly recommended based on research findings.
Please note that if lower back pain persists or intensifies you should seek the advise of an orthopedist, neurologist or sports medicine specialist. These specialists will evaluate x-rays or MRI studies to get to the root of the lower back pain.