4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help With Lower Back Pain
According to a survey by the American Physical Therapy Association, almost two-thirds of Americans experience low back pain, but only 37% seek help from a professional for pain relief. And yet, there are simple ways virtually anyone can solve chronic lower back pain without surgery or pain killers.
Exercise and proper stretching of the muscles in the lower back, abdomen, hips and legs is imperative for those with low back pain. Both stretching and exercise help in maintaining normal range of motion, and provide relief for muscles due to lack of use, or those that spasm because of nerve irritation or inappropriate posture.
Movement Control Exercises
The goal of movement control exercise is to retrain the spine’s muscles to support and control the spine through various ranges of motion and normal daily activities. Many patients with both acute and persistent low back pain have adopted poor movement patterns that play a large part in their current or ongoing pain.
To assist in relieving non-specific low back pain, the combination of manual therapy and exercise have been found to be most effective. “These techniques include joint and soft tissue mobilization, dry needling, passive stretching, and Myofascial release (gentle pressure to Myofascial connective tissue),” says O’Neil. “Performing these techniques allows the patient to move easier, with less pain and more confidence in their spine, leading to a quicker recovery and return to normal life activities”
“Teaching patients to understand and best manage their low back pain, and helping them plan the best path forward reduces their fear of movement, can help relieve pain, and largely assists in the healing and recovery process.” says O’Neil.