Back Pain Guide

Back Pain Overview

Back pain comes in many forms, from lower back pain, middle back pain, or upper back pain to low back pain with sciatica. Common back pain causes include nerve and muscular problems, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis. Many people find relief from symptoms of back pain with pain medication or pain killers.

The level, degree and manageability of pain is very different for every person. Some people can literally have a large herniated disc and experience no pain at all, and for others a simple muscle strain can cause excruciating back pain that can limit one’s ability to walk or even stand. Also, with some conditions, the pain can flare up from time to time and then reside, but may get worse over time.So it needs proper treatment,because only you know your level of pain, your treatment will most likely be more successful if you proactively participate in making decisions to take care of your pain.

Types of Back Pain

Acute low back pain- Low back pain that lasts for six weeks or less and does not extend below the knees is called acute low back pain, lumbar muscle strain or backache. Although quite painful, it usually improves after a few days of simple care.

Acute sciatica- Acute sciatica is low back pain that lasts for six weeks or less and extends below the knees. It also is called radiculopathy or radiating leg pain. Feeling better usually takes longer than with acute low back pain. Nerve irritation in the lower back often causes sciatica pain.

Chronic low back pain and sciatica- Back pain and sciatica that lasts longer than six weeks with no significant improvement is considered chronic. Specialized treatment may be needed. An expert Physical Therapist or doctor can help you for this kind of problem.

Treatments through Physical Therapy

Passive Physical Therapy – Modalities: There are many different forms of physical therapy. AT ABC Physical Therapy, the therapists focus on decreasing pain with passive physical therapy (modalities). These are considered passive therapies because they are done to the patient. Examples of modalities include:

  • Heat/ice packs
  • TENS units
  • Iontophoresis
  • Ultrasound

Active Physical Therapy – Back Pain Exercises: In addition to passive therapies, active physical therapy (exercise) is also necessary to rehabilitate the spine. Generally, a patient’s back exercise program should encompass a combination of the following:

  • Stretching for back pain exercise
  • Strengthening for back pain exercise
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning