Lower-back problems are one of the most common complaints we encounter in physical therapy. The majority of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime, and the back pain they experience may only last a short time, or it could linger for months. Back pain affects men and women equally, and children and teenagers can also experience back pain.
Structures in our Back:
Many different structures are at risk for injury in your back. Many components make up your back, such as your spine— and vertebrae (bones) make up your spine. There are jelly-like discs that cushion each vertebra and act as shock absorbers. There are also many muscles, tendons, and ligaments that attach to these vertebrae.
What are the signs and symptoms of a back problem?
If you have a back injury, you may experience pain ranging in frequency and intensity. You may have a constant dull ache or experience sudden, sharp pain. The pain can begin abruptly or slowly get worse over time. You may also notice that you cannot move or bend as well as you used to. Daily activities such as standing, walking, and sitting may become difficult, or you may find that you cannot tolerate standing up or being in a seated position for an extended period.
It is essential to address back pain sooner rather than later. Many people believe that the pain they are experiencing will go away in a day or two or try to push through the pain. It is never a good idea to try and make through or ignore pain, regardless of if it is in your back or elsewhere.
Pain is usually a red flag that something is wrong. If you neglect the signs your body is sending you or try to push through the pain, you could end up making your injury worse than it originally was.
For example, suppose you have a strained or “pulled” muscle in your back, and you decide to continue to perform activities that make it hurt more. In that case, you could make the strained muscle worse or more severe, tearing your muscle which could ultimately result in surgery. If you try to ignore a muscle strain, it could cause you to move with compensations or move in ways that put extra stress on joints and muscles that aren’t used to handling additional stress. This excess stress could cause more injuries to arise in muscles and joints above or below your original injury, only adding to your pain.
Yes, physical therapy is a great, less invasive approach to healing and resolving back pain. We use a combination of strength exercises, hands-on techniques, and body mechanic assessments to ensure correct muscle activation, good mechanics, and education to help decrease your pain and prevent re-injury.
Physical therapists commonly treat back pain and help build the correct program to address your goals. So please do not wait and schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists to address your pain or prevent these injuries from occurring. Call Comprehensive Physical Therapy today at (985) 869-7221 or visit our website at www.cptnola.com and schedule your personalized evaluation with one of our physical therapists.