When Should a Person Consider Physical Therapy for Back Pain?

Millions of people suffer in this country suffer from back pain. In fact, it is one of the top reasons why patients go see their physicians. National data shows it is the most frequent reason why employees miss work. Many patients seek out help back pain that is persistent but for which this is no detectable cause, such as infection, twisted nerve, or a tumor. In most cases, pain subsides within a few days or weeks and does not require much treatment.

There are, however, those patients who suffer from chronic pain who often try a variety of treatments in their quest to rid the pain. With so many different options, many of these patients ask when a person should consider physical therapy for back pain.

Medical Treatment for Back Pain

When a patient finally gets to the point where they need medical intervention, they are often left even more frustrated when presented with their options for treatment – steroid injections, opioid painkillers, and spinal surgery. Unfortunately, these treatments are often ineffective and in some cases leave the patient in worse condition than they were before trying these treatments.

If steroid injections have any benefit at all on the patient’s pain, it is usually short-term. Opioid painkillers have proven to be not only highly ineffective but pose a high risk of addiction, as well as other negative health effects. And there are only a few types of chronic back conditions where surgery may be an option, however, many clinical studies show that surgery provides the same amount of benefit as nonsurgical treatment options, offering no real significant outcomes that outweigh the risks that may be involved.

Alternative Treatment Options

Due to all the risks that traditional treatment involves, many back-pain sufferers are turning to alternative, non-invasive options. And mounting research appears to back up those choices, concluding that physical therapy and other alternative treatments provide relief for chronic back pain. Moving muscles, staying flexible, strengthening the core are all healthier and offer long-term benefits over steroids and painkillers.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Unlike surgery or other types of traditional medical treatment for chronic back pain, one important reason a person may consider physical therapy for back pain is that it is a conservative approach to pain management. A physical therapist will develop a customized program with exercises to do during therapy appointments, as well as ones to do at home. There are several benefits to back pain.

Pain Management

Physical therapy incorporates multiple types of therapy to help reduce or eliminate a patient’s pain. These include exercises, electrical stimulation, taping, ultrasound, and tissue, and joint mobilization.

Mobility Improvement

Patients with chronic back pain often have difficulty moving, walking, and even standing. A customized program will include exercises that will stretch and strengthen, helping a patient regain their ability to move without pain.

No Surgery

Successful physical therapy treatments can eliminate the need for surgery. In situations where surgery is the only option, physical therapy before surgery can help build strength that can assist in a quicker recovery.

Ask a Spine Doctor About Physical Therapy

There are ways to treat chronic back pain without surgery or medication. Anyone looking for alternative treatment options should ask a doctor about physical therapy.

If you are suffering from chronic back pain and wondering when a person should consider physical therapy for back pain, now may be the right time for you. Contact a spine doctor to set up a free consultation to discuss what treatment options are available.