Low back pain is very common. The low back, which can also be referred to as the lumbar region is the area that starts below the ribcage. According to studies cited by WebMD, eight out of 10 Americans experience back pain at some point in their life, usually in the lower back.
Causes of Low Back Problems:
- Strains and sprains
- Herniated Discs
- Degenerated Discs
- Piriformis Syndrome
Low back pain can have causes that are not due to underlying diseases. Examples may include improper lifting, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, poor posture, or wearing a poorly fitted backpack. Low back pain causes individuals to have a very difficult time walking, sitting, standing, lying down, or doing other everyday activities.
Lower back pain is more common as you age. People over 30 have more back pain than others. People who are overweight may also experience back pain due to carrying extra weight that may put too much pressure on their joints. To read more about low back pain click here.
Symptoms of Low Back Pain:
- Stiffness: it may be hard to move or straighten your back.
- Posture problems: low back pain can make it hard to stand up straight.
- Muscle spasms or tightness; after a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it very difficult to stand, walk or move.
If you experience sudden or severe back pain, you should consult a doctor or physical therapist right away. Sometimes, low back pain may be treatable on its own. Stretching and strengthening your muscles, especially in your abdominal core, can help support your lower back.
While the pain may be reduced by resting or applying heat or ice to the pained area, you should seek medical attention if it hasn’t improved or tends to get worse in two to four weeks. A few cases may require surgery, but physical therapy and pain relievers can often help.
Physical Therapy aims to:
- reduce back pain
- increase function
- teach patients how to prevent future back pain
Our physical therapist will give each patient a regime tailored specifically to their pain. The treatments will help strengthen muscles, so they can support the spine. Physical therapy can also help improve flexibility and get you back to doing your daily activities. A physical therapist will also help you avoid future back injuries. Lastly, physical therapy will also save you money and time, when the case is not severe enough for surgery. Some injuries, however, might need surgical repair.
In many states, including Texas physical therapists have what is known as ‘direct access’ meaning, patients can legally see them directly, without a referral. Direct access eliminates the barriers, resulting in more effective and quicker healthcare.
The sooner you see a physical therapist, the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery and get you back to your regular lifestyle and daily activities more quickly.
Learn more about finding relief for low back pain here.