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What to Expect at Physical Therapy for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is an extremely common condition that affects millions of people. While some cases of back pain will resolve on their own with rest and over-the-counter medications, many people need physical therapy to treat their back pain and prevent future episodes properly. 

If you are dealing with persistent or severe lower back pain, your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist at Physical Therapy Advantage for specialized care and treatment. Here’s what you can expect at physical therapy for lower back pain.

Evaluation

The first appointment at physical therapy will involve an evaluation by the physical therapist. They will go over your medical history in detail to understand what may be causing your back pain and discuss your current symptoms. The therapist will ask you to describe the pain – where it is located, whether it radiates down your legs, what makes it worse or better, etc. 

They will also examine your back by palpating the muscles and spine to pinpoint areas of tightness or tenderness. You can expect the therapist to check your range of motion by having you bend, twist, and reach in different directions. They are looking to see what movements trigger your pain. The evaluation helps create a tailored treatment plan.

Hands-on Treatment

After the initial meet and greet, the real hands-on healing begins. The physical therapist will use their training and experience to mobilize those achy joints and loosen up tight muscles. 

You can expect a range of techniques to get you back in action. The therapist may carefully manipulate the spine to improve alignment and take pressure off pinched nerves – almost like a chiropractor but more gentle. 

Tight back muscles may be massaged out like knots in a rope. Stretches will limber up the hips and hamstrings. The joints in the spine and pelvis will be mobilized through movement to restore range of motion. And don’t be surprised if you feel a heating pad’s soothing warmth or an ice pack’s relieving coolness. 

Consider it a much-needed deep-tissue massage for your back. The therapist will gauge your response to customize the hands-on treatments for optimal relief and recovery. With several progressive sessions, you’ll move with less pain and more freedom.

These hands-on techniques can be performed in multiple sessions to provide progressive relief for your back pain. Your input helps guide the therapist on which techniques are most beneficial for you.

Targeted Exercises  

A crucial element of tackling back pain through back pain therapy in Aurora involves precise exercises to fortify and steady the core and back muscles. Weakness in the core muscles stands out as a key instigator of back pain. Your therapist will guide you through exercises designed to gently stretch and fortify your back, abdomen, and pelvis muscles. This not only enhances stability but also alleviates strain on the spine.

Popular exercises, in this case, include bridges, planks, knee-to-chest stretches, and yoga poses. Your therapist will showcase the proper technique and keep a keen eye on your execution to ensure precision. The exercise regimen will be tailored to match your capabilities and fitness level. Over time, these targeted exercises work their magic, boosting strength, expanding your range of motion, and acting as a preventative measure against future episodes of back pain.

At Home Program

Physical therapy in Aurora, IL usually involves appointments at the clinic and instructions for continuing your rehabilitation at home. The physical therapist will prescribe exercises you can do at home a few times a week and hands-on techniques you can try yourself, like using a foam roller or massage ball to relieve muscle tension. 

Keeping up with exercises and stretches at home is key for sustaining long-term relief from back pain. The therapist may also recommend lifestyle changes like modifying activities, pacing activities, and adjusting your workstation. 

Follow-Up and Outcomes

You will engage in periodic consultations with a physical therapist to evaluate your progress and adjust your treatment plan as required. The ultimate objective is to alleviate pain, enhance functionality, and establish the capacity to perform daily activities or adhere to a consistent exercise regimen. 

The degree of your motivation and active participation in the prescribed exercises significantly impacts the efficacy of the overall treatment outcomes. If exercise exercises are too painful, you may need to explore other options, such as painkillers or surgery. Most patients experience reduced back pain symptoms with 6-12 weeks of focused physical therapy.

Conclusion

Maximize your physical therapy session by taking a few steps to prep. Jot down questions for your therapist beforehand. Slip into comfy, loose clothing for easy movement during workouts. Show up early to breeze through any paperwork.

Exercise brings a plethora of perks to the table for acute low back pain—bye-bye pain, hello improved mobility, no surgery, and a safeguard against future low back pain. For a tailored treatment plan for your back blues, drop a line to Physical Therapy Advantage in Aurora. Their seasoned physiotherapists will give your back a thorough check-up and craft a bespoke plan to say goodbye to your back pain.