Progressive physical therapy helps patients in Central New Jersey find relief from back pain.
Physical therapy is a very common modality in the treatment of back pain. The goals of physical therapy for back pain are to reduce pain, increase functioning and flexibility, build strength, and prepare the patient to avoid future back pain recurrences.
For back pain sufferers, it is quite common to combine physical therapy with chiropractic care as well as traditional medical practices. When an accident, injury, or illness causes back pain, physicians often refer patients to rehabilitation facilities for physical therapy.
Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
Muscle Injuries: The trauma of an auto accident, sports injury, or other incident can cause damaged or pulled muscles (when the muscle stretches or tears away from ligaments and bone). Muscle injuries can also occur over time when the body has been weakened from lack of exercise or unhealthy dietary choices. In this case, muscle injuries can occur as the result of even the simplest of exertion.
Physical therapy for muscle injuries includes massage techniques, gentle stretching, low level laser therapy, ultrasound, and heat and ice. Massage releases tension, while laser therapy speeds up the healing process to reduce pain and inflammation, increase circulation, and prevent the formation of scar tissue. Heat therapy and ultrasound also speed up circulation for faster healing and the removal of waste byproducts, while ice therapy reduces inflammation.
Disc Injuries: Intervertebral discs rest between the vertebrae of the spine and and act as a cushion to allow movement of the spine. These discs also work as ligaments to keep the vertebrae together. A tear or rupture in the outer ring of the disc allows the inner, soft part of the disc to bulge out. This is known as a herniated disc. Disc injuries often happen as the result of injuries from lifting heavy objects, but can also happen to those who are required to sit in one position for long periods of time. On a basic level, the pain of herniated discs is the result of pressure that is placed on nerves.
Physical therapy for disc injuries includes the use of spinal decompression traction. Traction helps to provide stabilization to affected area in order to alleviate the pressure on nerves that is causing pain. Other types of physical therapy may also be used, generally with the purpose of stabilizing the injured area. Treatment for herniated discs usually works in conjunction with chiropractic care.