Physical Therapy and Your Aching Back
- Posted on: Oct 30 2018
Just about everyone has some period of back pain during over the course of their lives. It could be an acute episode after improperly lifting some item. Or it could be chronic, ongoing pain that is due to weak muscles supporting your spine.
In either of these cases, physical therapy will probably be one of the treatment approaches we use at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders. Physical therapy can be just the right treatment for many of our patients, but others come back to us and tell us it wasn’t effective for curbing the pain.
There are some reasons why this can happen.
- Too much stimulation therapy, not enough exercise
In some cases, patients may fall in love with the idea of alleviating the pain through use of hot packs, cold packs, and stimulation therapy because these provide immediate relief. But they don’t provide lasting relief because the muscle weakness is still there. An exercise regimen needs to accompany the icing/heating to be effective.
- The patients aren’t doing the exercises properly
Physical therapy is usually most effective when the patient is working directly with the physical therapist. That way the therapist can describe the exercises he or she is recommending, and they can even demonstrate the proper way to perform them. But when the patient is at home doing the same exercises, improper form can make the exercises ineffective and they can actually be stressing areas rather than strengthening them. It’s important to perform the exercises correctly.
- Patients don’t follow through
Our physical therapists recommend the necessary exercises and the necessary duration to make their treatment plans as effective as possible for the patient. But they require one thing — the patient needs to stick with it. Many patients are hit or miss with their exercising or they simply stop doing the exercises after awhile. This will often let them slip back into pain where they had been sensing some improvement.
- Patients don’t think of it as a long-term solution
Once your physical therapy program is finished, the patients who continue to have the best results moving forward are those who keep doing the exercise and add other exercises. They make physical exercise and activity a part of their lives moving forward. Physical therapy isn’t like a two-week antibiotic prescription. It needs to be continued to keep the back muscles strong and to continue to strengthen the core and provide the stabilization necessary to support the back.