The following was written by FX Physical Therapy. Find their blogs at this link.
Four out of five Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives.
While the severity varies, research suggests that most cases of low back pain can be resolved by conservative treatment without surgery or pain medication. If you’re experiencing low back pain of any kind, reach out to a physical therapist who will help to rule out any red flags (or refer you to a specialist if deemed necessary), identify contributing factors and offer solutions to your pain, work with you to shape a realistic plan forward and empower you to heal. The nuances of your specific pain will make your plan individualized, but there are common aspects that are likely to set you up for success.
The core is often overlooked and only thought to consist of your abdominal muscles. You should think of the core as more of a cylindrical structure, including everything from a muscle below your lungs that aids in breathing to your pelvic floor muscles as well as muscles in the small of your back and also in the sides of your trunk. Going beyond sit ups and planks, there is a plethora of targeted core activation drills and movements that can improve the overall stability of your low back. Reach out to your PT to have your core strength assessed and addressed!
Many times, pain manifests itself in the low back but is actually due to stiffness in the hip joints. If your hips aren’t optimally functioning, the low back will begin to take up more of a load than it is meant to take. Assessing the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes and surrounding tissue allows for a full picture of the lower body’s strength, mobility, and motor control. As with the core, there are many targeted movements and interventions that can be done for overall hip mobility to indirectly decrease low back pain.
We know that the body responds to the demands that are placed upon it. In essence, if you spend your day sitting in a suboptimal position for work, your back may start to ache and signal for movement. Although nobody is expected to maintain perfect posture all of the time, there are some tips and strategies that your PT can give to help you care for your back throughout the day.
At the end of the day, you hold the potential to resolve your pain. Your physical therapist will act as a positive guide by providing a combination of education, manual therapy techniques, therapeutic movements and exercise and the expertise in setting up a personalized program for you to decrease your pain and get you back to the activities that you love.
Have questions regarding your aches, pains and performance? Send FX Physical Therapy a message today to get in contact with a doctor.