Back pain, especially in the lower back, is one of the most commonly seen medical conditions. In fact, if you’ve never experienced low back pain, you’re actually part of the minority, and there is a strong chance you’ll encounter it at some point. The statistics on the subject should put help put matters in perspective: as many as 85% of Americans will face low back pain at least once in their lives, which can lead to varying degrees of disability. The good news is that our New York City physical therapists are extremely familiar with these types of cases, and can help address any type of back pain you may be having with a non-surgical treatment approach.
Most people who have dealt with back pain in the past or are dealing with it currently should be well aware of how their pain can make it more difficult to complete everyday tasks that are normally completed without much thought. This is one of the main reasons low back pain is also one of the leading causes for missed work due to disability.
In most cases low back pain is short-lived—or acute—and only lasts for a few weeks before gradually subsiding. For some individuals, however, the pain lasts for more than three months and is then considered to be “chronic,” which requires a much more intense treatment approach. Anyone can get low back pain and it can develop for a variety of reasons, but there are certain factors that increase one’s chances of getting it. These risk factors include older age, poor physical fitness, a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, other diseases like arthritis and cancer, risky occupations that may strain the back, smoking, depression and anxiety.
Non-surgical treatment from our New York City physical therapists recommended for most cases of back pain
Though it can be a bothersome condition that may interfere with your daily life, fortunately most cases of low back pain will improve with time and with non-surgical, or conservative treatment. Conservative care is strongly recommended in nearly all cases of acute low back pain, and one of the most essential components of this treatment approach is physical therapy. Our New York City physical therapists deal with low back pain patients on a regular basis, and we are experts at determining what may be causing the pain and creating treatment plans to address it. The goal of each treatment program is to decrease pain, increase function and prevent further recurrence, and usually includes:
- Passive physical therapy: techniques that are performed on the patient without any action on their part, such as ice and/or heat therapy, and ultrasound
- Active physical therapy: exercises the patient physically performs on their own
- Stretching exercises for the buttocks, back, spine and hamstrings are helpful for keeping joints flexible and should be done twice a day
- Strengthening exercises are needed to build the muscles in the back and core, and should be done for 15-20 minutes every other day
- Low-impact aerobic exercises like walking, biking and swimming are also important and should be done for 30-40 minutes, three times a week
- Education: we will also provide tips and guidance on how to improve your posture and make other necessary changes that may be contributing to your pain
Back pain may be a burden for many people, but this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do about it. Take action by coming in to see our New York City physical therapists for a complete evaluation and a personalized treatment program that’s designed specifically for you, and you’ll be on your way to less pain and better functioning. Call Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here for more information on back pain.