Low Back Pain: Do I Need Physical Therapy?

Low back pain is a common condition that will occur to most people throughout their lifetime. In fact, studies show that the average individual is at an 80% risk of experiencing back pain between the ages of 45 to 65 – sometimes even as young as 30.

Also known as mechanical back pain, this condition is primarily a sign of aging, when the structure of the spine begins degenerating and becomes more prone to injury from simple actions such as bending or lifting heavy objects. Other causes include:

  • Excessive strain – Whether you are shoveling snow or participating in your favorite sport, excessive strain can lead to an overstretching and subsequent injury of the muscles and ligaments in your lower back.
  • Scoliosis – An abnormal curve of the spine that can stem from poor posture in your teenage years as well as from arthritis that often begins in your late 40’s. This spinal abnormality can cause pain even during normal daily activities.
  • Sciatica, i.e., herniated disk – When one of the disks that make up your spine is severely worn or damaged, it bulges out towards the spinal cord and can cause severe pain. This can be caused by any strenuous activity that involves lifting, bending, or pulling motions.
  • Osteoarthritis, i.e., disk degeneration – As you age, the disks that separate your spinal joints may wear away or disintegrate entirely, leading the joints to rub against one another. This can lead to severe pain and potential complications.

While adequate rest or a complete avoidance of strenuous activity is the recommended remedy for minor cases of low back pain, more serious cases will often require care from an orthopedic physician in the form of physical therapy. The main purpose of physical therapy is to restore the natural functionality of the spine, primarily through hand-on therapy from a licensed expert combined with specialized back exercises that target your distinct needs.

Never dismiss lingering back pain as a normal part of your daily life! If symptoms persist for more than a few days, it could be a sign that you require physical therapy or another form of professional intervention. Please do not hesitate to contact Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine & Pain Management and speak with one of our physical therapy specialists in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch, FL.