Low Back Pain
Eight out of ten adults experience acute low back pain (LBP) at some point in their lives. Low back pain doesn't discriminate; it affects men and women equally. Twenty percent of the population who have acute LBP also experience chronic LBP, which means symptoms last more than 12 weeks.
Causes of Low Back Pain
Concord Hospital Rehabilitation Services physical therapists can help you with a variety of low back pain issues.
- Sprains (ligament overstretch) or strains (muscle or tendon injuries)
- Overuse or repetitive motions
- Herniated or ruptured discs
- Degenerative changes such as disc degeneration, spinal stenosis or osteoarthritis
- Nerve irritation such as sciatica or radiculopathy
Most LBP resolves on its own within a few days to a week. If it doesn’t, Concord Hospital Rehabilitation Services physical therapists can help you recover and prevent your symptoms from becoming chronic. Studies show the more quickly a person with LBP sees a physical therapist, the faster and less complicated the recovery. Patients who see a physical therapist within one-two weeks of the onset of acute LBP recover more quickly; are less likely to be exposed to x-rays or other imaging tests; are less likely to utilize opioid pain medication; have fewer injections or other interventional treatment; and are more likely to return to their full activity level in a shorter time frame.
Large-Scale Study Finds Connection Between Early Physical Therapy & Lower Opioid Use
Early physical therapy appears to be associated with subsequent reductions in longer-term opioid use and lower-intensity opioid use for all of the musculoskeletal pain regions examined.
Read the Study
Physical Therapy Treatments Specifically for Low Back Pain
- Spinal mobilization/manipulation
- Exercise to restore mobility and strength to the core muscles that support the low back
- Education on posture and body mechanics to prevent undue stress on muscles and ligaments
- Instruction on the importance of continuing with light to modified activity
- Heat or cold which might help to ease pain and reduce inflammation
- Soft tissue techniques such as dry needling and various forms of massage
What You Can Expect from Evaluation & Treatment
Treatment of low back pain typically involves six or less physical therapy appointments. A Concord Hospital Rehabilitation Services physical therapist will work with you to determine the plan of care and treatment approach that best meets your individual needs.
Pain Neuroscience Education
If you have chronic back pain, you may benefit from pain neuroscience education where a physical therapist, specially trained in this educational approach, teaches you the complex factors associated with pain and how your body’s pain system works. Your therapist will not only educate you about how your body’s pain system works, but how you can modify and progress activity to help you get back to your daily activities.