Research has stated that back pains (of varying severities) are the primary reason for physical disabilities in people all over the world. Its effects have not only disturbed personal life but have also impacted workplace absenteeism and worker productivity. The extent of damage it can cause to the economy is alarming as back pains are the sole reason for 264 million workdays lost annually.
If it’s estimated that almost 80% of the population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, this issue needs to be addressed at our earliest. Even though most people suffering from chronic and occasional back pains have tried and tested pharmaceutical painkillers, they often don’t offer lasting results.
Physical therapy is a way to rehabilitate aching backs through a simple, noninvasive, nonmedicated treatment procedure which accommodates a range of disabilities. Therapeutic modalities of the procedure can be altered, depending on the severity of the condition.
Components of Physical Therapy
A holistic physical therapy program usually has 2 components:
- Passive therapy
- Active therapy
Active Physical Therapy
The term active refers to treating back pain through physical exercise. There’s a range of back exercises that can be used to rehabilitate the spine. An effective active therapy treatment for back pain, it encompasses a combination of exercises including stretching, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning.
Passive Physical Therapy
Your therapist may focus on passively treating your condition via techniques that don’t directly involve exertion. Varying modalities of passive physical therapy include heat/cold packs, TENS units, iontophoresis, and ultrasound.
In order to effectively treat back pain, physical therapy needs to be tailored to specific requirements.
Back pain can result from intensive pressure on a single nerve or irritation due to a disk bulge or spinal stenosis. Pain sensation can travel down to the legs and may even be felt more intensely there. Therapy which emphasizes on repeated movement can best treat this condition.
You may feel that your spine moves in abnormal ways and registers pain during specific movements such as getting up, turning over, or bending backward. Your spine is naturally stabilized by abdominal muscles deep down. If they’ve weakened or aren’t functioning optimally, your spine may destabilize, resulting in pain. With proper exercise, muscles can be retrained to function normally before undergoing movement.
Stiffness of the spine can also cause severe back pain and result in restriction of movement. Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of spine stiffness. In order to address this problem, your therapy will focus on short thrusting motions over one joint in a particular position.