Physical Therapy for Back Pain at Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago
Physical Therapy for Back Pain:
Why it Works and What to Expect
If you are one of the millions of people suffering from chronic or recurring back pain, physical therapy for back pain may be an excellent solution for you.
Even though physical therapy is incredibly effective in treating back pain, many people don’t know what to expect during their first and follow-up visits.
Let’s take the mystery out of the process by explaining the initial consultation, the difference between passive and active physical therapy, and tips on how to get the most out of your treatment.
What is Physical Therapy?
In general, physical therapy is a non-invasive treatment that focuses on restoring optimal movement and functionality to the body.
Physical therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, but physical therapy for back pain is especially popular.
There are two types of physical therapy: passive and active.
What is the Difference Between Passive and Active Physical Therapy?
Passive physical therapy refers to treatments that the physical therapist performs. For example, the physical therapist may provide you with one of the following procedures based on your consultation:
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Heat therapy
- Cold therapy
- Electrotherapy (Electrical stimulation)
Active physical therapy, on the other hand, refers to exercises and stretches performed by the patient.
Your physical therapist will design a program based on your goals and needs specifically for you. The program’s overall goal is to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength from the comfort of your home.
Why is Physical Therapy Effective for Treating Back Pain?
There are several key reasons why physical therapy is one of the most effective and prescribed methods for treating back pain.
Strengthens the Right Muscles
Many cases of lower back pain stem from either weak or overly tight muscles. Weak musculature means that nearby muscles will need to pick up the slack.
To reduce or eliminate back pain, physical therapy helps you do two crucial things: the first is to strengthen the weak muscles contributing to the pain.
Increases Flexibility / Alleviates Muscle Tension
The second thing physical therapy can do is alleviate the tension in the muscles overcompensating for the weaker ones.
This two-part approach can help to increase the flexibility and strength in your muscles and joints while reducing the risk of future injuries.
Improved Range of Motion
Aside from strength and flexibility, physical therapy can help to improve the range of motion in your joints and muscles. This can help to alleviate stiffness, aches, and pain, ensuring it’s easier for you to move around.
Physical therapy can also improve your posture. Lengthening tight muscles and strengthening weaker muscles reduces strain on your back. This will prevent pain and reduce the risk of injury.
What Can I Expect During Physical Therapy?
While every meeting will be as unique as each patient, physical therapy appointments tend to have a similar structure.
The first step in physical therapy is to meet with your chiropractic physician to discuss your current condition, health goals, and what an optimal treatment plan looks like for you.
Your chiropractor will perform a physical evaluation to assess your condition. The aim is to see where you are having trouble with movement and areas of pain.
Custom Recovery Program
From this evaluation, your chiropractic physician will create a custom program specifically for you. This is not a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Instead, it is based on your body type, condition, and path to recovery.
Your physical therapy program will most likely include a combination of passive and active therapy, including exercises, stretches, chiropractic adjustments, massage, etc.
The Importance of the Treatment Plan
It would help if you didn’t think of the program as a concrete document. It will change as you do. Your chiropractor will change the program as your symptoms improve to further your recovery.
If you did the same program for the entire length of treatment, you’d stop seeing results after a short time. This is why it’s crucial to update the program as you improve.
Above all, it is important to follow your physical therapy teams recommendations and not push yourself too hard.
Is Your Back Hurting?
Lower back pain is the most commonly cited reason people visit their doctor. But, unfortunately, many primary care physicians tend to prescribe medication without addressing the real problem.
If you are currently suffering from back pain, we can help you stop the pain and help prevent relapses without dangerous medications.
Give us a call at 773-878-7330 or click the following link to set up your free initial consultation or appointment with our team of back pain experts.
Dr. DeFabio is a highly regarded chiropractor in Chicago who focuses on helping his patients achieve optimal health and wellness. He takes a holistic approach to care, treating symptoms and addressing underlying issues to promote long-term healing. Dr. DeFabio is passionate about empowering his patients to take control of their health and live their best lives. You can find him surfing, skateboarding, and volunteering at the Lakeview Food Pantry when he’s not in the office.