Lower Back Physical Therapy is most often utilized to treat low back discomfort. In most cases, patients with chronic lower back discomfort require no more than four days in bed to achieve maximum benefit from their treatment. In some rare cases, patients with acute lower back discomfort require hospitalization for several days to overcome their pain and inflammation. In severe cases of chronic lower back discomfort, patients may require a hospital stay for weeks.
Many doctors believe that chronic lower back discomfort is caused by a weakened back muscle. The muscles of the lower body, which include the abdominals and glutes, are usually strengthened through regular exercise. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that regular exercises, which are designed to strengthen the muscles, can also provide a measure of relief to the lower back. This is because many exercises to increase strength, flexibility, or range of motion. This increased strength in the abdominal muscles and gluteal muscles may also reduce pain in the back and relieve any symptoms that the patient is experiencing.
Physical therapists generally work with patients who have either injured or have undergone surgery to correct chronic lower back discomfort. While patients with acute lower back discomfort should never expect an instant cure from a physical therapist, consistent, careful use of physical therapist can help to improve quality of life, decrease pain, and reduce future health complications.
During physical therapy, a physical therapist works with the patient in order to strengthen the core muscles, which are located in the lower lumbar region of the back. The therapist will also help to improve the mobility of the back muscles by using specific exercises that are targeted to strengthen the muscles of the lower spine. The physical therapist will typically perform the exercises at a speed that is comfortable for the patient. Patients may also be given a stretching and exercise journal so that they can track their progress after each session. The physical therapist also gives patients’ feedback regarding the exercises and any improvements that they are making.
The physical therapist will use the patient’s current pain level and ability to move to determine which exercises are best for them. They may suggest that the patient start out with simple exercises that will build up strength while gradually increasing the intensity. and/or length of time during which the exercises are performed. In some cases, the patient may also be encouraged to begin a regimen of exercises on their own and work with a physical therapist at their own pace.
For example, if a patient has had a traumatic event in their family history, the physical therapist may recommend using balance and strength training exercises with a balance board or wall machine. During the first few sessions, a balance wall may be used that is made specifically to strengthen the lower back muscles while maintaining the mobility of the spine.
The physical therapist will also use a variety of stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles of the abdominal region, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and other muscle groups. A stretching device called a stability ball is often used during this time. As a patient progresses through their routine, they will start to add additional exercises that target specific areas of the lower back. By the end of the first week, a stability ball or stability equipment can be used on a daily basis.
The goal of back massage and exercise is to help relieve pain and inflammation while strengthening and lengthening the muscles of the back. A back brace, which is sometimes called a cervical splint is often prescribed. The neck or spine is held in place using a device known as a cervical decompression device. These devices can be purchased at a local retail store or from your doctor. If you need to have a procedure done for your back or neck, a physical therapist may be able to suggest a brace or other type of device for you.