August 2, 2014

Elyria
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Physical Therapy and Low Back Pain

Dr. Gale Hazen

If you have experienced low back pain, you are not alone. Approximately one quarter of Americans report experiencing low back pain within the past 3 months at any given time.* Low back pain occurs due to overuse, strain, or injury. This includes too much bending, twisting, lifting, and even too much sitting.

Low back pain and neck pain have become two of the major health problems of the modern era. Unfortunately, many people suffer from chronic back or neck pain that does not get better despite traditional medical care. The goal of treatment is to promote optimal health and function of the musculoskeletal system in order to maximize function and minimize disability.

Although the natural course of an acute episode of low back or neck pain is generally favorable, pain and impairments can and often do persist. In some cases, problems may become chronic in nature and can be severe. Many medical professionals encounter patients with low back and neck pain on a regular basis and treat them with a variety of interventions. These professionals include physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors to name a few. However, some of these practitioners specialize in the care of patients with spine related problems.

A physical therapist experienced in spine care is especially equipped to help patients suffering from spinal disorders and spine related symptoms due to their knowledge of evidence-based spine interventions, background in anatomy, biomechanics, and hands-on treatment approaches. A variety of interventions may be used to prevent and diminish pain, impairments and disability associated with spinal disorders. Examples of some commonly used interventions include physical agents and modalities to decrease pain, manual therapy techniques including spinal manipulation, specific strengthening and/or flexibility exercises, as well as ergonomic intervention and education. A recent study found that physical therapists helped 92% of patients that sought their help for low back pain.* *

How can You Prevent Low Back Pain?

• Keep your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong

and flexible

• Don’t slouch, keep good posture at all times

• Use good body mechanics and positioning at

work and home

• When lifting, keep the load close to your body

• Stay active to prevent injury

What to do when you have low back pain.

In most cases, low back pain is mild and will disappear in its own.

Maintain your activity and do as much of your normal routine as possible.

Bed rest can slow down your recovery. If your pain lasts more than a few days or gets worse, you should schedule an appointment to see your physician.

See a physician immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

• Loss of bowel or bladder control

• Numbness in the groin or inner thigh

• Pain that does not change with rest

Dr. Gale Hazen is with NeuroSpinecare Inc., located at 5319 Hoag Dr. Ste. 10, Sheffield Village. Phone: (440) 930-6015.

*Spine November 2006 ** Spine July 2008