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Getting Active with Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain

It may sound strange at first, but physical therapy management for low back pain means getting active for your pain control program. Often, pain in the lower back is due to strained or pulled muscles, but it’s just as often due to poor muscle tone. That’s right! If you let your back muscles weaken to the point they can’t efficiently do their job, you’re more likely to experience injury or pain. That’s not to minimize the pain of those with chronic back problems due to more serious conditions such as herniated discs, but physical therapy strengthens muscles and restores functionality.

There are varying levels of physical therapy programs that can be prescribed for back pain. The first is regular exercise you can do on your own that targets the low back muscles. For example, you can do the “plank” or the pelvic lift several times a week. The advantage of doing back exercises is that you actually work all your core muscles too. In other words, you’re exercising both the back and abdomen muscles. Strong core muscles are much less likely to be sprained or injured during daily activities.

Physical therapy management for low back pain may also include a monitored exercise program under the guidance of a physical therapist. In this case, you will work with the therapist to develop a muscle strengthening program that targets the lower back muscles. But you will only proceed at a pace based upon your improvement as measured by the therapies. In addition, physical therapy programs are often supplemented by other therapies such as medications.

Starting any kind of exercise program means you’re getting more active. So many people are overweight and inactive and pay the price with their back muscles. Physical therapy programs that focus on exercise can be adapted to the stage of pain you are experiencing. For example, during the initial stages of pain the special exercises will focus on exercises that will prevent the pain from getting worse.

The idea that physical therapy management for low back pain involves only lying on a table while a therapist bends your legs is long gone. Physical therapy may include muscle massages, walking programs or even aerobics. It all depends upon the amount and kind of pain you are experiencing. Often, exercise also serves as a way to relieve stress. Stress can cause muscle tightness and increase the level of pain you experience. The more you stress and worry the worse pain you may experience.

Physical therapy management for low back pain is frequently used to assist people who have lost the ability to function normally. In other words, they are virtually disabled. A progressive program of exercise and therapy works on two levels. First, your muscles are stretched and worked regularly to restore strength. Second, as you begin to recover your ability to move without pain, your will be mentally and emotionally motivated to improve. Pain begins in the brain and can be aggravated by despair over loss of abilities.

If you have bouts of back problems, physical therapy management for low back pain may be the solution you need to restore your muscle strength while reducing pain.


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