How Physical Therapy Helps You Triumph Over Chronic Back Pain
Does chronic back pain keep you from living the life you want? This debilitating symptom, which may be caused by a variety of underlying issues, may make you wish you could just spend the rest of your life in your recliner. Actually, however, you can conquer your chronic back pain by getting out of that recliner and scheduling a course of physical therapy. Here are five ways that our physical therapist can use this healing modality to help you put chronic back pain behind you for good.
1. Physical Therapy Strengthens Back Support and Resistance
A weak back is more likely to be a painful back. Muscles that don’t adequately support the back and spinal column leave you with postural problems that lead to pinched nerves, chronic musculoskeletal strain, and an increased vulnerability to acute injuries. Weak back muscles also tend to become easily stressed and strained, becoming inflamed, stiff and painful as their default state. Physical therapy exercises designed to beef up the strength of these muscles can provide the back with the support it needs. You’ll stand with a straighter posture, experience less day-to-day discomfort, and resist future injuries more easily.
2. Physical Therapy Increases Flexibility
Pain and stiffness go hand in hand where the human back is concerned. Osteoarthritis of the spinal joints, hips or pelvis can cause chronic pain. Muscles and connective tissues in the back reflexively tighten up in the presence of pain, which only makes you stiffer. Stretches and other physical therapy exercises can lengthen those muscles, loosening them up and increasing your pain-free back motion.
3. Physical Therapy Can Ease Inflammation
Chronic inflammation often means chronic back pain. Arthritis, autoimmune disorders, facet joint strain, tendinitis, and other such problems can leave you in constant discomfort. A physical therapist can figure out what kinds of exercises can help to increase circulation and reduce inflammation gently and naturally. Other options may include inflammation-busting techniques such as massage therapy, cold laser therapy, heat applications, cold applications, and ultrasound therapy to boost blood flow and help the tissues expel inflammatory substances.
4. Physical Therapy Guides You Toward a Less Painful Lifestyle
You might be your back’s worst enemy without even realizing it. Chronic back pain can be related to numerous lifestyle choices. Sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress, carrying too much weight, doing too much awkward bending or twisting in your workplace — these and other innocent errors can spell ongoing problems for your back. A physical therapist can point out these problems and suggest some healthy changes.
5. Physical Therapy Can Remap Your Brain’s Pain Response
Physical therapy may do plenty of good for diagnosed conditions, but what do you do if your chronic pain is idiopathic — stemming from no obvious source? Even in this situation, a physical therapist can help you. Physical therapists can employ “brain rewiring” through mindful awareness techniques that enable chronic pain sufferers to stay calm in the face of their symptoms. Since pain is greatly worsened by accompanying anxiety, you can learn how to minimize the pain signals’ effects on your psyche, thus allowing them to fade into the background.
Are You Ready to Talk to a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapy could do wonders for your aching back, but only if you’re willing to take that first essential step. Contact our physical therapist today and schedule an initial appointment!