Low Back Pain Slowing You Down? Physical Therapy Can Help
If you’ve never suffered from low back pain, you’re one of the few still out there. you’re one many people that have had an incident or episode of low back pain that has left you sidelined for a weeks, months, and even years. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and it shouldn’t. A lot of people don’t know this, but you can easily get help right away, start feeling better, and get back on track to living your active life. “How”, you ask? Go see a physical therapist that specializes in spine and low back related disorders.
Take, for instance one of my patients - let’s call her Kim. Kim is a busy 45-year-old woman who works full time, has two children, and used to be a very active person. She did CrossFit, ran, went to the gym, and played sports here and there. Kim started to have back pain a year ago. She tried resting and being less active to see if that would help. It didn’t. She tried taking pain pills which give her some relief at times, but the effect began to fade overtime. She tried some generic exercises that helped a little bit but provided no significant changes overall. Overtime, work, stress, and depression engulfed her life and her activity level shriveled down to a few walks a week. Kim found me through Google and saw that I work with people like her and read my guide to help ease back pain (LINK HERE). To make a long story short, Kim came into my office, and I evaluated what was going on with her body overall. I provided treatment, and within a couple sessions Kim experienced less back pain, was exercising more regularly, and started to feel better at work. Although she’s not back to 100% just yet, she’s on her way to regaining the active life she once had.
Now, not all people I see progress that quickly, but more often than not they get there. Every person, body, is unique. And that’s why those generic exercises you find on Youtube and/or the ones given out as handouts to the masses don’t work that well. Your body is different from Kim’s, and her’s is different from yours. This brings me to my first point about how I help my clients get back to the activities they love.
I perform an in depth evaluation of your body. Not JUST the painful area, but also the surrounding areas that can be contributing to your pain. In Kim’s case, I assessed everything related to the back and spine, as well as the hips and pelvis that attach to the lower back. I also assessed the upper back and neck, as it connects to the lower back. I even look further down the chain to the feet. “Why”, you ask? Well, it’s the first thing that makes contact with the ground. And what happens when you make contact with the ground? Force is put through the foot, then ankle, then knee, then hip, then the back. Let’s make sure you’re minimizing those forces. To summarize and without getting too detailed with physio jargon, the body is a intricate system with interrelated parts and connected pieces that need to be evaluated as whole, not just one part. I like to look at it like an orchestra of moving body parts. All performing together and in a coordinated fashion for a perfect harmony of movement.
By using the P3 Athletic methodology, I can get to the source of pain. Without finding the source and root cause of your pain and problems, we cannot accurately prescribe the correct treatment. Do you want a generic treatment for back pain? Or do you want a specific, customized, treatment plan tailored to YOUR body and YOUR needs?
Great, we found out what’s going on. Now what? This is when we begin treatment. To start, we have to get you feeling better. Depending on your unique body, I use a variety of manual, hands-on techniques to get you feeling better. These include but are not limited to massage, soft tissue mobilization, deep tissue massage, joint mobilization, myofascial release, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, myofascial decompression (cupping), proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, and the list goes on. If you haven’t received treatment using any of these techniques before and/or they weren’t applied your body’s specific problem areas, I can see why your pain hasn’t resolved yet.
Once we’ve gotten you feeling better, we have to make that change a permanent one. We accomplish this by prescribing exercises specific to your pain complaints, its response to manual therapy, and what your body needs to reach your goals. These exercises could involve but are not limited to stretching and mobility techniques, strengthening and stability, neuromuscular re-education, nerve mobilizations, etc.
Both hands-on manual therapy and exercise prescription have been shown through research to help people like you with low back pain. In fact the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons stated ”that in most cases of symptomatic lumbar degenerative disc disease, a common cause of low back pain (LBP), the most effective treatment is physical therapy…”(http://www.apta.org/Media/Releases/Consumer/2009/2/24/)
Now that you’ve started to feel better, move better, and get stronger, we have to set you up to reach your physical GOALS.
And this is where more customization is needed. If you’re getting back to CrossFit, your ladder phase of Physical Therapy should look something like, CrossFit. Are you squatting? Are you deadlifting? Are you able to run and row? If you’re just doing planks for hours, although a great exercise, it must be applied to the movements you need for the desired activity and/or sport. Are you trying to get back to high intensity interval training? Then you exercises should incorporate speed and full body movements.
At P3, we know your sport, and we’ll bring you on an experience, from pain to regain, that you will never forget!
Your takeaway from this blog should be this: If you’re sick and tired of back pain affecting your life and preventing you from being healthy and active, than you need to be assessed and evaluated by a physical therapist that specializes in low back pain. If what you’re currently doing hasn’t helped, you need to look for other solutions. P3 can help!
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