Bharat Bhise Examines Physical Therapy for Lower Back Pain
According to Bharat Bhise, physical therapy is often recommended to people who suffer from chronic lower back pain since it not only helps to decrease the pain but also increases function and helps to manage or prevent the recurrences of lower back pain. Generally, four weeks of physical therapy can be a great non-surgical treatment option for dealing with lower back pain.
Here are a few important details that you should know if you are opting for physical therapy for lower back pain:
- Active vs Passive physical therapy – The goal of passive physical therapy (modalities) is to reduce the pain levels of the patient to a manageable level. It involves the use of ice packs, heat application, and electrical stimulation.
Active physical therapy for lower back pain involves the use of stretching and specific exercises to strengthen the muscles of the lower back so that they can support your body during physical activity without getting fatigued. Generally, it is recommended that you combine active physical therapy with passive physical therapy techniques to reap maximum results.
- Stretching for relieving lower back pain – Following a stretching routine that is individually designed for you by your physical therapist or spine physician can be of immense help. Properly stretching the lower back muscles, legs, hips, and abdominal muscles can help to provide relief for muscle spasms caused due to nerve irritation or improper posture.
It can also prevent the shrinkage of muscles (atrophy) due to disuse and restore your natural range of motion. However, it is important to ensure that you perform stretching exercises in a slow and gradual manner since bouncing or fast movements can cause more harm.
- Core strengthening exercises – Core strengthening exercises include specific abdominal strengthening exercises such as leg raises, crunches, sit-ups, and more are designed to strengthen the lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.
Additionally, you can practice dynamic stabilization exercises to strengthen the secondary muscles of the spine so that they can support your spine through various ranges of motion.
- Passive physical therapy – Your physical therapist or chiropractor can utilize multiple modalities to treat intense and debilitating lower back pain. Generally, heat and cold therapy are the most popular since it helps to reduce inflammation and reduce muscle spasms.
For more severe cases of lower back pain, you might require steroidal treatment such as Iontophoresis or electrical stimulation such as a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) in order to relieve lower back pain. Furthermore, you can also opt for an ultrasound treatment since it also helps to enhance tissue healing.
Bharat Bhise suggests you hire a spine specialist or qualified physical therapist to guide you when performing active physical therapy exercises and stretching. It will ensure you have a proper understanding of the techniques involved and you perform them correctly. It is also recommended that you stick to the program for the long term to prevent lower back pain in the future and strengthen your back muscles and core further.