For the millions of people around the world who have low back pain, physical therapy has proven to be an effective, non-invasive method of pain relief. And, just as you would describe your symptoms to a physician, you should also try to be accurate and honest when telling your physical therapist about the nature, location and severity of your pain.
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy is a rehabilitation regimen designed to help individuals maintain mobility and functionality so that they can have the best possible quality of life. It can treat a wide variety of health problems, from traumatic injury to disease to natural aging, and it also encompasses a wide variety of subspecialties, including pediatrics, geriatrics and orthopedics.
If you have lower back pain and your physician has diagnosed it as a degenerative condition—herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, facet disease, osteoarthritis or another issue—you will most likely want to see a physical therapist who specializes in orthopedics.
Examples of physical therapy exercises
Types of exercises that may be recommended during a physical therapy session to achieve low back pain relief include:
- Wall squats – stand with your back flat against a wall; walk your feet out about 10 inches; slowly bend both knees, hold for several seconds, and then slowly bring yourself back to an upright position.
- Heel slides – lie flat on your back; slowly bend one leg at a time by sliding your heel along the floor up towards the knee of the opposite leg; repeat 10 to 15 times.
- Stabilization maneuvers – if you have access to a large aerobic ball, lie down flat on the floor and hook one leg over the ball; slowly raise the other leg and the opposite arm; lower both, then repeat ten times on each side.
Other treatment options
If, after months of conservative rehabilitation and lower back pain exercises, you find that your low back pain is not improving despite physical therapy, it may be time to talk to your physician about a more advanced approach to treating your lumbar spine condition.
Spine surgery is a serious consideration. Let Laser Spine Institute fill you in on all of your options. We specialize in minimally invasive procedures that offer a welcome alternative to the risks of traditional open back surgeries. Contact us today for more information about our outpatient procedures and for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.