Is back pain bringing you down? Is it difficult to swing a golf club, bend down to pick up the grandkids, rake leaves, read a book while sitting in your favorite chair or even enjoy a walk through the neighborhood? Are you frustrated with not being able to keep up with your friends and family? Have you tried just about everything and nothing has helped? You are not alone.
Back pain – specifically lower back pain – is the most common diagnosis that we see in our clinic. In fact up to 90% of adults will suffer from back pain at some point.
It is the LEADING CAUSE of activity restrictions and work absences throughout the country.
While back pain can come from a number of different reasons or sources, often it occurs for no apparent reason.
Common Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can range from a dull consistent pain to a sharp almost jabbing pain during times of movement or even rest. Back pain is not always caused by a certain event or movement, it can appear almost out of nowhere. Some common causes are:
- Muscle or ligament strain – from repetitive motion or a sudden awkward movement
- Herniated or bulging disc or discs
- Prolonged sitting
- Poor Posture
- Poor sleeping position
- Imbalances & stiffness in your body; stiffness usually comes first and then creates pain on and off
How to Ease Back Pain Now
- Specialized Physical Therapy – more on that below
- Rest – Taking time off from activities to give your body time to recover is important. But after about 2 weeks, resting is no longer a good idea! Have you heard the phrase that motion is lotion? This is so true!!! If your pain is not getting better after resting a bit, you need some more help (PT!)
- Apply ice/heat – Both can ease pain. Icing will help reduce the inflammation and heat will ease stiffness.
- Low impact activity – walking, biking, water exercises – You may not feel like moving with your knee pain but low impact activity can assist. Activities such as walking, biking, yoga or Tai Chi can keep your joints from stiffening up and causing more pain. Water exercises are also a great way to keep moving.
- Massage and/or stretches
- Maintain good posture- Body mechanics when sitting, standing and even sleeping can assist with pain relief-
What can Specialized Physical Therapy do for Back Pain
The Spine Specialist Physical Therapists at Balance Within will look not only at your back but your entire body to access the root of the problem. PT should begin with a full body review and look for all areas that can be affected. They may do a gait evaluation where they watch you walk to see how your legs and feet align. Your Balance Within PT will also consider the following:
- Your core and lower body may be out of alignment – Your core and pelvic area provide your body with stability and balance. Even being slightly out of alignment can cause your body to overcompensate in other areas.
- Core not firing correctly – If your core muscles are weak, this can create issues with your spine as it is working hard to assist your body with stability and balance. Over time, this can cause back pain as your back is working to assist the body.
- What is going on above and below your back – Often times, what is happening above or below your back can make all the difference with the severity of your pain
- Body mechanics are so important – Your sitting, standing, and walking position should also be assessed as this often plays a role in back pain.
Physical Therapy is an excellent resource to assist with back pain. A few sessions with a specialty physical therapist will often reduce or eliminate your back pain. Your therapist should look at the overall body picture to find clues to the source or reason behind the back pain. Temporary or fast pain works well in the short term but the goal with Physical Therapy is to work toward removing the immediate pain and also to prevent the pain from returning.
How to Ease Back Pain Over time
Looking long term to maintain your healthy back and a healthy body, you should
- Exercise – Movement and a regular exercise schedule provides so many benefits. Keeping your joints fluid and moving is key to prevent future problems as well. If exercise is hurting, PT can help so this feels great again.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet – This helps with maintaining weight, helps to improve recovery rate and lowers the chances of developing arthritis or osteoporosis and reduces inflammation.
- Wear supportive shoes – orthotics – Your shoes may be the cause of your back pain – those with pain should usually avoid flip-flops, sandals or high heels. Custom orthotics from Foot Levelers is a great option (which we offer in our clinic hooray!) These custom made inserts as well as orthotic sandals to help support your feet, legs and knees.
- PHYSICAL THERAPY – balancing out the body while making sure you have enough strength to support your joints, that the joints are moving OK and not too stuck and that the fascial system is not throwing things out of whack… addressing these issues and many others, this is how we truly get to the root cause and get you back to living your best life!
Back pain is not something you need to live with. Just because you are getting older, have arthritis or osteoporosis does not mean you have to live with back pain. We can help. Click the button below to request a free back pain discovery consultation. Balance Within PT will meet with you to discover the root cause of your pain and develop a customized treatment plan to get you back to your activities and living your best life.
Click here to request our free 9 Tips for eliminating Back Pain and Staying Pain Free Guide – it offers helpful tips to provide relief for your pain.
We also offer a FREE Back Pain Discovery Session to look at your overall pain issues and look for the root problem. Click here to request a FREE session today!