People suffering from back pain are commonly referred for back pain physiotherapy for 4 to 6 weeks. This treatment helps to decrease back pain, improve function and muscle strength, maintain a correct posture as well as prevent the occurrence of back pain in the future. Back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorder targeting all age groups.
A recent research indicates that about 60- 80% of the population are affected with back pain around the globe. There could be many reasons for pain like aging, trauma, nutrition disorders and genetic factors, even smoking, weight gain, lifting heavy weights, depression, stress, anxiety, decreased flexibility and decreased disc fluid makes individual susceptible to all forms of low back pain. So, physiotherapy is the most widely used form of treatment aided for relief from back pain.
What is a Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a healthcare treatment. It can be used as a primary mode of treatment or a combination of treatment which includes Electrotherapy i.e. ultrasound therapy, shortwave diathermy, interferential therapy along with traction and manual therapy.
The main purpose of physiotherapy for back pain is to regain function, reduce pain, to correct posture and to return to your activity. Physiotherapists help to restore the body function through ergonomic advice, Proper education, gentle exercises and manual therapy.
Therapists can help improve different systems of the body, such as:
- Musculoskeletal: Muscular and joint pain, arthritis, sports injuries
- Neurological: Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke(CVA)
- Cardiovascular: Chronic heart diseases, rehabilitation after CABG, MVR
- Respiratory/Pulmonary: Asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Types of Physiotherapy for Back Pain
Physiotherapy treatment helps to relieve back pain by recommending preventive measures and proper exercises according to the patients’ conditions.
Types of Physiotherapy
There are two types of physiotherapy for back pain. These two are:
- Active physical therapy: Active therapy is important for the rehabilitation of the spine. Active physical therapy focuses on exercises and stretching. This therapy primarily focuses on the active participation of patients which includes self-stretching.
Passive physical therapy: If exercise is too painful and difficult to perform, the therapist includes treatment of heat fermentation, electrical stimulation, and ice packs on the patient's back. This pre-treatment stimulation is used to warm up the muscles before doing physical exercises and ice packs can be used to soothe the sore muscles and soft tissues.
Role of Physiotherapy in Back Pain
The key role of physiotherapy in the management of back pain is as follows:
Proper Education and early treatment: Education and Early treatment encourage the early movement of the back.
Manipulate physiotherapy: This aspect of the therapy concentrates on mobilizing the back pain. This aspect of physiotherapy specifically targets pain points of the back.
Stabilization exercises: This aspect of physiotherapy focuses on improving the stability and strengthening of the muscles which may have been weakened due to back pain.
Exercises and stretchings: A series of exercises and stretches are recommended depending on the individual's condition and the causes of back pain.
Appropriate posture: physiotherapy for back pain focuses on providing postural guidelines, different techniques to correct posture and habits that a patient should inculcate in order to improve the condition.
Ergonomic devices: Back pain is majorly caused due to prolonged standing or sitting in faulty posture. Physiotherapists recommend and guide the patient on using ergonomic devices in order to avoid lower back pain.
Physiotherapy for Back Pain
The doctor may recommend physiotherapy before and after surgery for faster recovery. Physical therapy and exercise are beneficial in both cases as it helps in strengthen of the muscles, improves pain as well ensures faster recovery.
Physiotherapy is considered as a crucial part for non-surgical and surgical treatments, as the recovery depends on the patient's physical condition. The goal of physiotherapy post-treatment is to reduce and relieve pain, improve bodily function and develop coping strategies for the future.
Prognosis of Physiotherapy for Back Pain
The problem of back pain can be successfully treated with physiotherapy with consistent exercise and practice. Physiotherapy for back pain helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles and can also help to take the release stress on the lower back. Post physiotherapy, it is important for the patient to continue exercise to sustain the strength developed during physical therapy.
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