Low back pain is defined as pain located between the rib cage and the buttocks and may extend down to the leg and foot. Pain felt in your lower back may come from the spine, muscles, nerves, or other structures in the back. Low back pain can effect movement such as twisting, turning or bending. Most spine disorders, especially if it is a first time injury, do not require surgery immediately. Pain is typically related to joint sprain/strain, ligament injury, muscle strain/sprain, disc injury, muscle weakness, or poor flexibility. These problems can be located in the spine or surrounding muscles or joints.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Pain or ache in the area of the back between the ribs and the top of the legs
- Pain may travel to the buttocks or further down the leg to the foot
- Pain may increase with twisting, turning, or bending
- Spasms in low back
- Pain that hinders ones function to perform activities of daily living
- Sneezing, coughing, or laughing may increase pain
- Tingling and/or burning sensations
- Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
- Trauma or injury
- Muscle strain
- Bulging or herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Nerve irritation
- Pelvic malalignment
- Muscle tightness
Physical therapy for back and neck pain is a safe and effective conservative treatment. When you have a dysfunction or a problem in your spine, sometimes you feel the pain in the back or neck, but often times the first onset of pain may be in the arms or legs. This first sign of a problem may be noticed as tingling, pain, or weakness. The first step in determining the cause of the problem and most appropriate treatment is a physical therapy evaluation. During the evaluation, your Oxford Physical Therapy Centers physical therapist will assess: postural deviations, muscle tightness/imbalances, joint mobility, range of motion, and neurologic involvement. This information will then be used to identify the contributing factors producing pain or limiting your functional status. If after the evaluation it is deemed that Physical Therapy intervention is appropriate in your case the physical therapist will discuss the treatment plan and help you set goals for your physical therapy.
Development of a personalized home exercise program will be started on day one of the initial evaluation. These exercises will be contoured to address your specific needs that you and your physical therapist have identified. Throughout your course of treatment your physical therapist will modify and progress your exercises accordingly.
Most patients receive manual therapy during physical therapy treatment for their spine issues. Manual therapy involves hands on treatment with the physical therapist to work on joint or soft tissue restriction. Based on your evaluation the physical therapist will determine your current place in the spectrum of healing.
If you have had surgery on your back or neck that is usually only part of the process for your full recovery. Most surgery requires post-operative physical therapy to restore range of motion, strength, stability, nerve mobility, and help you reach your full post-surgical potential.
If you have any questions about your back or neck pain, please contact us at 513.701.6100.