Chronic back pain can prevent you from performing the countless daily tasks you need or want to perform. Even when you’re not engaged in activity, your back pain may be keeping you miserable 24/7. Did you know that approximately 80 percent of Americans have experienced (or will experience) back pain? That’s a depressing statistic, especially if you group yourself in with those people! Many turn to over-the-counter medication and opioids for help, but don’t be so quick to assume that drugs can provide more than temporary relief, or that surgery won’t create more problems than it solves. We suggest that you go with the healthy, natural way to kiss your back pain goodbye: physical therapy.
Call our clinic today to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy. Until then, read on to find out why physical therapy is the safer option for back pain relief.
Drugs and Surgery: Two Back Pain Solutions That Cause Fresh Problems
Back pain can be either acute or chronic in nature. Acute back pain often happens as a direct result of torn muscles or other sudden, intense injury. But as agonizing as back pain can be, at least you have the benefit of remembering that the pain will hopefully subside as the injury heals!
By definition, chronic pain is any pain that continues for more than 3 months. You may experience it in bursts or it may plague you with lingering discomfort. Chronic back pain offers no such relief to those living with it. A progressive and/or irreversible underlying cause is often present. In your back, common causes of chronic pain include:
- A narrowing of the spinal canal known as spinal stenosis
- An old back injury that failed to heal properly, leaving you with internal scarring and chronic stiffness
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Chronic muscle strain from an unbalanced posture or weak back muscles
- Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis of the spine
Drugs can temporarily relieve chronic back pain, and most likely you’ll need to take another dose after a few hours once your symptoms return. You can end up in a terrifying loop of increased tolerance and addiction if you’re using opioids to dull the pain!
Surgery also poses a big threat in many cases as well. The most severe type of therapy, spinal surgery, can permanently restrict the flexibility of your back. You might also end up with an even more debilitating condition known as the syndrome of failed back surgery.
Choosing physical therapy for pain management
Physical therapy is a safe, natural, and effective way to manage pain symptoms and address the underlying cause of pain. If you’re looking for a holistic way to handle your condition, one that doesn’t involve the risk of addiction or failed surgery, physical therapy may just be the answer you’ve been looking for!
Our physical therapists will first take the time to examine your back, analyze your symptoms, evaluate your medical history, and talk to you about your pain management goals. This information enables the physical therapist to devise a comprehensive physical therapy plan just for you. Here are some ways you can benefit from such a plan:
- Laser therapy, massage therapy, and heat or cold treatments can reduce chronic inflammation and relax painful muscle spasms in your back.
- Stretching exercises can help you increase your range of motion, allowing you to do more with less back pain.
- Strengthening exercises can give weak back muscles the reinforcement they need to hold your back straighter and with less fatigue.
- Specific lifestyle modifications to help you ease stress on your back and avoid future back problems.
- Mindfulness practices can help you reduce anxiety and other reactions to pain that might make the pain worse, helping you control your pain responses for the better.
A physical therapist may relieve acute pain with manual therapies, such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation, and massage. What most people do not know, though, is that pain relief also needs to improve the function of the areas surrounding the injury, not just treat the injury itself. A physical therapist can help you to strengthen the core muscles in your abdomen and legs to help your back find relief if you are having back pain.
It’s time to master your back pain with physical therapy
Instead of numbing yourself with drugs or risking major surgery, give physical therapy a chance to relieve your chronic back pain the safe, natural way. Our physical therapists are skilled movement specialists who know how to find and target the true source of your back pain.
You have the power to master your chronic pain, starting with the decision to treat yourself to physical therapy. You’re in good hands here. Say goodbye to harmful medications or costly surgeries, and contact our physical therapist today to schedule an initial consultation!