Back pain is pain experienced in the back and usually originates from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine.
Back pain may have a sudden onset or can be a chronic pain; it can be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may radiate into the arms and hands as well as the legs or feet, and may include symptoms other than pain, such as weakness, numbness or tingling.
The spine is a complex interconnecting network of nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and all are capable of producing pain. Large nerves that originate in the spine and go to the legs and arms can make pain radiate to the extremities. Spinal anatomy is a remarkable combination of strong bones, flexible ligaments and tendons, large muscles and highly sensitive nerves. There are several potential sources and causes of back pain. However, the diagnosis of specific tissues of the spine as the cause of pain presents problems.
Many different structures in the spine can cause back pain, potentially when:
- The large nerve roots that go to the legs and arms are irritated
- The smaller nerves that innervate the spine are irritated
- The large paired back muscles (erector spinae) are strained
- The bones, ligaments or joints themselves are injured
- The disc space itself is a source of pain.
Back pain does not usually require immediate medical intervention. The vast majority of episodes of back pain are self-limiting and non-progressive. Most back pain syndromes are due to inflammation, especially in the acute phase, which typically lasts for two weeks to three months.
ABC Physical Therapy has highly-trained physical therapists who specialize in the treatment of back and spine problems. All of the therapists have extensive training in a variety of specific treatment techniques for back pain, all of which begin with a high intensity of manual therapy techniques including: Spine Stabilization, Joint Mobilization, Soft Tissue Mobilization, Functional Training and Functional Massage.
Patients suffering from most types of low back pain are often referred for physical therapy for four weeks as an initial conservative treatment option before considering other more aggressive treatments, including back surgery. The goals of physical therapy are to decrease back pain, increase function and teach the patient a maintenance program to prevent future back problems. ABC Physical Therapy suggests some common forms of physical therapy include:
Passive physical therapy, which includes things done to the patient, such as heat application, ice packs and electrical stimulation. For example, a heating pad may be applied to warm up the muscles prior to doing exercising and stretching, and an ice pack may be used afterward to sooth the muscles and soft tissues.
Active physical therapy which focuses on specific exercises and stretching. For most low back pain treatments, active exercise is the focus of the physical therapy program. So if you have these kind of problems come to ABC Physical Therapy and try our physical therapy or massage therapy to get relief.