Around 80% of American adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Nearly 10% live with some form of chronic back pain. If you’re dealing with pain in your back, you’re in good company. Fortunately, you do have treatment options. Physical therapy can be part of a total treatment program to minimize your back and improve your prognosis. As you’re searching for physical therapists in Oklahoma City, this short guide can help you better understand how PT may help.
Reducing Back Pain And Regaining Flexibility
Back pain can originate from bones, muscles or other tissues. To understand how this works, we should look at each of these components. Your spine is a column of vertebrae that forms the central support for your body. The spine itself gets support from surrounding muscles in your back, sides and abdomen. Collectively known as the core, this muscle group provides stability for the body’s center. Cartilage discs provide cushioning in between the vertebrae.
Common causes of back pain include arthritis, injuries, stress and conditions such as fibromyalgia. Each of these impacts a different part of the back. Arthritis, a type of inflammation, can affect the spine. Injuries may include bone fractures or pulled muscles. Stress often results from poor posture or overexertion. Some conditions, such as fibromyalgia, stem from nerve or muscle issues that result in deep, chronic and widespread pain.
How Therapy Targets Back Pain
When you’re searching for “back pain treatment near me,” consider that physical therapy may be one of your best options. PT addresses several common underlying causes of back pain: muscle weakness, nerve issues and flexibility problems, to name a few. Everyone’s treatment plan is different, but typical components of a back pain physical therapy program include:
- Strengthening exercises
- Range of motion exercises
- Passive therapy techniques
Strengthening exercises focus on muscle groups such as your core. A better-developed core provides improved support for the spine. Stretching increases flexibility, which can reduce pain and minimize the risk of reinjury. Range of motion and flexibility go hand in hand, both in improving movement capability and retraining your body’s muscles and nerves.
Passive techniques may be part of your treatment plan, depending on your condition. Heat therapy is a popular choice, offering relief by relaxing muscles and speeding up blood flow. Electrotherapy stimulates the muscles and can countermand pain signals. Ultrasound therapy also supplies gentle heat to targeted areas. Other options include hydrotherapy, dry needling and massage.
Living Life Without Fear of Back Pain Flare
Back pain is common, but it’s not unsolvable. Your first step is consulting with your primary care physician, as you may need a referral to see physical or occupational therapists in Oklahoma. Once you’ve found a specialist, you’ll attend an evaluation and work with that professional through a thoughtfully developed treatment plan. You may work with a therapist for a short time or have a long-term partnership with this professional. Either way, you can reap the benefits of therapy through active participation and following your therapist’s advice.