Low back pain is extremely common. Approximately 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives, and at any given moment, 25% of people in the United States are experiencing low back pain currently or have done so within the past three months.
The pain may be acute, meaning that it occurs suddenly, and relatively mild. Most cases of low back pain resolve on their own. However, others can be chronic, meaning that they develop over time, and more severe. Physical therapy in Edmond West, Oklahoma, may be needed to treat this type of pain.
Lower back injuries can occur from overexertion, such as when you try to lift something incorrectly that is too heavy for you. They can also occur due to trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident. Here are some examples of lower back injuries with one of these two causes.
The vertebrae are the bones in the back that surround and protect the spinal cord. There are several different types of vertebral fractures, but the most common is a compression fracture, which occurs when the front part of the vertebra collapses upon itself and loses height as a result.
Between any given two of your vertebrae is a rubbery cushion called an intervertebral disk that prevents them from rubbing against each other and helps to absorb shock. Trauma to a disk can cause the tougher outer portion to tear, allowing the middle portion, which is softer, to leak out. This can put pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots, potentially causing numbness and tingling of the extremities in addition to low back pain.
Strains and sprains are soft tissue injuries affecting the muscles and ligaments, respectively. A sprain often occurs when one or more of the intervertebral joints is forced out of its normal position by a sudden twist or fall. A strain often occurs due to pulling or twisting a muscle.
Not all causes of back pain are due to acute injuries. Some, such as osteoarthritis or degenerative disk disease, happen over time due to wear and tear on the joints of the spine. In fact, strains, sprains, disk herniations, and compression fractures can all be degenerative as well as acute. Either chronic or acute injuries may require physical therapy in Edmond North, Oklahoma to treat.
Physical therapy is a preferred treatment for low back pain over prescription painkillers, which can have nasty side effects, and surgery, which carries with it a risk of complications. The risks with physical therapy are much lower, and the results may be at least as good, if not better.
A physical therapist may use certain modalities to relieve pain, such as electrical stimulation, ice, or heat. Manual manipulation may help improve the spine’s mobility. Special exercises help to improve your flexibility and strength, helping to relieve pain and prevent further injuries. A physical therapist can also teach you how to engage in physical activities safely and teach you to avoid further injuries.
Each physical therapy program is unique to the individual patient. Therefore, your physical therapy for back pain may not include all these treatments, but it will include at least some of them.