Using Physiotherapy to Treat Back Pain

Back Pain is Prevalent

Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is very prevalent world-wide. It affects millions of people across the world and, in fact, some estimates claim between 60 and 80 percent of people are affected by back pain within their lives. Back pain can be acute and sharp, coming on suddenly and lasting for a few days to a few weeks, or it can be a chronic problem. When back pain lasts for more than three months, it is considered chronic. Chronic back pain is often described as a constant, dull pain.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can be caused by many various things, but the most common causes involve aging, stress, illness, injury, and disease. Lack of exercise can also cause the back to become weak and increase pain in the area. When the vertebrae, discs, muscles, and ligaments in the back are not working in coordination with each other properly, pain is often the result, whether it is acute pain or a dull, chronic problem.

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy, otherwise known as physical therapy, is the treatment of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of functional ability, mobility, and quality of life. It can also be defined as the process by which ill, injured, or disabled individuals are assisted in recovering function and movement via a holistic approach, thereby improving their quality of life and relieving pain. Physical therapy is performed by educated and informed physical therapists who consult with patients and decide what types of physical interventions the patients may benefit from in order to relieve their pain and restore mobility. It can include various treatments such as massage, application of heat and/or cold, stretching, exercise, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, and acupuncture. A physical therapist looks carefully at a patient’s diagnosis and comes up with a plan involving treatments specific to the patient.

Can Physiotherapy Help Back Pain?

Physiotherapy is an excellent treatment for back pain because it provides a holistic approach and goes a long way in restoring movement and relieving pain in many people. It can also reduce or eliminate the need for pain-relieving medications. The physiotherapist will examine your lifestyle and assess your mobility. He or she will assess where your weaknesses lie, observe your movement, and try to pinpoint what types of movements are aggravating your back. Then, a physical therapy plan is proposed in order to help alleviate the back pain.

Massage and other treatments one may encounter during physical therapy, such as the application of heat on the location of the pain, encourage and increase blood and fluid circulation, reduce swelling, and ease pain. Strengthening exercises make the back stronger, restoring movement and flexibility. Various stretching exercises can greatly relieve back pain, particularly lower back pain, and also work to strengthen the back and increase flexibility. These treatments and many others work in combination to achieve alleviation of back pain.


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