By: Ann R. Miller, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS,
Clinical Director of Stowe Clinic
Almost everyone has had an episode of low back pain at some point in their lifetime, whether it was brought on by lifting a heavy item, gardening all afternoon, shoveling snow, sitting for long periods of time without proper back support, or simply as part of the aging process. Sometimes this pain will only last for a few days but other times it may last for months or reoccur periodically, and in the worst case scenario it may never completely resolve. Low back pain is the most commonly treated condition by physical therapists in the United States.
Research has shown that physical therapy for musculoskeletal disorders, such as low back pain, provides better outcomes at a lower cost than using drugs, injections, or surgery. The purpose of physical therapy is to treat the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms. Physical therapists are skilled in evaluating posture, assessing the spine’s mobility, range of motion, testing muscle strength, stability, and flexibility, as well as identifying abnormal movement patterns and areas of soft tissue tightness or restrictions. A comprehensive treatment program is then developed by the physical therapist based on these findings.
Common treatments may include stretching exercises to improve the flexibility of tight structures, strengthening exercises to improve muscle performance and promote stability, and hands-on or manual therapy techniques to improve spinal mobility or reduce soft tissue restrictions or tightness. Education on posture and movement patterns is critical in not only treating the current condition, but in preventing future episodes of low back pain. Other treatment procedures utilized by physical therapists which may be useful, include mechanical traction, modalities such as ice, heat, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. For many people, once they have completed physical therapy and are pain free, it is important that they continue with a home exercise program on a consistent basis to prevent reoccurrence of their symptoms.
If pain is limiting you from doing the activities you enjoy, give Mishock Physical Therapy a call for a FREE Phone Consultation at (610)327-2600. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Visit our website to read more physical therapy related articles, learn more about our treatment philosophy, our physical therapy staff, and our 6 convenient locations in Gilbertsville, Skippack, Barto, Phoenixville, Limerick, and Stowe (Pottstown), at www.mishock.wpengine.com.
You do not need a prescription from your physician for physical therapy services. All 6 of our clinics offer Direct Access. Under current state law, consumers may refer themselves to physical therapy without a physician’s prescription for the first thirty days of treatment. Some restrictions may apply.
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