Physical Therapy as a treatment for #back pain and can be administered in three different ways to relieve the pain.
The three treatments are traction, massage, and direct applications of heat and/or cold. Traction uses mechanical apparatus to stretch the back muscles and ligaments in order to relieve the pressure on spinal nerves and intervertebral discs.
Back in the 1970’s traction was commonly used as the first port of call for disc problems. I was on traction for a week for my first prolapsed disc, which seemed to help it a little but left me with some numbness in my lower left limb.
I was also put on neck traction for a disc problem in my cervical area which was not successful and actually resulted in emergency surgery. So, I’m not really an advocate of this type of treatment for #back pain. Nowadays it’s used less for inpatient treatment but is still used quite frequently as an outpatient for a short length of time.
The London Spine Specialist says that “after an episode of low #back pain has lasted between two and six weeks, or if there are frequent recurrences of low #back pain, it is reasonable to consider #back pain exercises and physical therapy for back treatment.
Some spine specialists consider back exercise and physical therapy sooner and the goals of #back pain exercises and physical therapy are to decrease #back pain, increase function, and provide education.
Physical therapy consists of hands-on treatment to loosen muscles and joints, education on proper posture and movement to decrease pain, instruction on stretching and strengthening exercises to restore mobility and strength, and modalities such as electrical stimulation, cold/heat and ultrasound.
Very Well website explains it slightly differently and points out that when low back pain is persistent or interferes with normal activities, a visit to a physical therapist may be necessary. When you go to a physical therapist, he or she will perform an initial evaluation will consist of several different parts. First, a history of your present problem will be taken. Some special questions will be asked to help the therapist determine the nature of your problem and to discover anything that needs immediate medical attention.
The physical therapist will also take measurements of how you are moving. This may include measurements of your range of motion and strength. A postural assessment will also be included in the initial evaluation. From the results of the evaluation, a specific treatment plan will be devised and started.
Is physical therapy as effective as surgery for lumber spinal stenosis? Well according to Medical News Today ‘Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) who followed an evidence-based, standardized physical therapy (PT) regimen achieved similar symptom relief and improvements in physical functioning as those who underwent surgical decompression, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.’