One in four people suffer from a back problem that requires medical care at some point in their lives. Back problems are the number one cause of days off work and the number one reason people get addicted to painkillers.
Physical Therapy is an essential component in the treatment of back problems. Most doctors who treat these types of problems will refer their patients to Physical Therapy for some or all of their care.
Physical Therapy for Back Pain
- Reduce your symptoms using natural means.
- Restore you to your former activities of work and play.
- Teach you how to stay healthy and prevent relapses.
Bulging or Herniated Discs
The intervertebral discs are located in between the vertebrae in the lumbar spine. They are made of layers fibrocartilage and have a fluid center. Discs allow the spine to be flexible and strong. Discs can be damaged in accidents or can degenerate with age and tend to bulge in a posterior direction. A bulging or herniated disc by itself can be uncomfortable but it can also put pressure on an adjacent nerve root causing symptoms in the buttock or down the leg. In severe cases, herniated discs can cause numbness or weakness in one or both legs.
Facet Joint Symptoms
Facet joints deteriorate with age or can be associated with degenerative disc disease at the same spinal level. This type of injury produces symptoms that are usually worst in the early morning and improve once the patient starts to move around or get warmed up.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains usually occur from lifting, accidents or vigorous activities like sports or yardwork. These injuries usually do not cause symptoms in the legs and can cause muscle spasm in the area of the injury.
The sacroiliac joint is in the pelvis between the sacrum, or tailbone, and the ileum, or hip bone. Sacroiliac dysfunction affects men and women equally and can be especially painful at night . Typical sacroiliac symptoms are discomfort in one buttock, a “catch” when getting up from sitting and symptoms in one leg when climbing stairs.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition where one vertebra slides forward on another causing symptoms in the back and legs. Typical symptoms of spondylolisthesis are aching that gets worse the longer you stand, but which feels better as soon as you sit.
Rehabilitation Following Back Surgery
Back surgery usually occurs after many months or years of treatment for back problems. People who elect to have back surgery usually do so because the symptoms they are experiencing are unbearable, or because their lifestyle and activities have become severely limited. Following a successful back surgery, patients are keen to regain their strength and function and return to the activities they enjoy. Physical Therapy helps patients regain their strength and mobility and also learn how to avoid future back injuries.