Physical Therapy

If you suffer from chronic pain, physical therapy treatment can help. Many physical therapy treatment exercises do not require large chunks of time or a formal place to conduct them. For example, people with neck problems can do certain exercises, such as a shoulder roll, while sitting at their desk.

Physical therapy treatment makes a big difference in a patient’s recovery. Speak with an experienced doctor about an appropriate physical therapy treatment regimen for your condition.

Conditions Benefiting from Treatment

Back, spine, and neck pain are not the only conditions benefitting from physical therapy treatment. Other common ailments addressed by physical therapy include:

  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Fractures
  • Osteoporosis

With physical therapy, patients may eventually wean themselves off pain medications or feel comfortable using a lower dose.

Conservative Treatment Options 

Physical therapy is a primary or secondary treatment for most types of back or neck issues. Doctors always want to go with conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, before considering other pain relief options such as corticosteroid injections or surgery.

As a rule, patients go through a minimum of four weeks of physical therapy before the doctor makes the decision to start more aggressive treatment.

Sometimes, physical therapy means going back to basics. Since poor posture results in many back problems, part of physical therapy involves teaching patients proper posture, lessening the odds of future issues.

Treatment Goals 

While pain reduction is a primary goal of physical therapy, it is far from the sole reason for this treatment. Through exercise, patients learn to prevent back problem from recurring. That means the exercises do not stop – although physical therapists may modify them – once the patient recovers.

Passive Physical Therapy Treatment

In passive physical therapy treatment, the patient does not actively become involved. Passive physical therapy may include:

  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture
  • Manipulation
  • Massage
  • Heat or ice therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Ultrasound

These therapies help reduce inflammation and speed healing.

Active Physical Therapy Treatment

Active physical therapy treatment is what it sounds like, practices in which the patient is actively involved. Since muscles support the spine, physical therapy exercises may focus on building up the abdomen for spine stabilization.

Ideally, patients develop a “muscle belt” around the back. Patients also learn stretching methods for remedying back pain.

Even if a patient ends up needing surgery, physical therapy builds up their strength and stamina, so that recovery is faster.

Prescription Exercises

Physical therapy for back and/or neck issues is not one size fits all. A physical therapist designs exercises suiting each specific patient and decides the number and length of times each day each exercise requires. As the patient progresses, the exercises and amount of time may change.

Doing the physical therapy exercises is not sufficient. It is crucial that they are done properly, using the right technique to benefit the patient. In a worst-case scenario, performing the exercises incorrectly exacerbates the problem.

Physical therapists teach patients how to do each exercise precisely, so that they repeat the therapy accurately on their own. In the course of physical therapy, patients learn a great deal about the function of each muscle group.

Contact a Doctor

If you experience a back, neck or other pain and believe physical therapy treatment could help, call a skilled doctor today to discuss your options.