Your everyday activities and general quality of life may be negatively impacted by lower back discomfort, which can be crippling. Physical therapy might provide the relief you’re looking for. In Aurora, Illinois, lower back pain sufferers can visit Physical Therapy Advantage for specialized therapy and care.
Are you unsure of what to anticipate from your lower back physical therapy? Let’s examine the procedure and the specialized back pain treatment Physical Therapy Advantage offers its clients in Aurora, Illinois.
Your first visit to a physical therapist will involve an evaluation of your condition. The therapist will review your medical history and ask about your current symptoms.
The therapist will likely watch you walk and move to observe your mobility. They may also perform some hands-on tests to assess your range of motion, muscle strength, reflexes, and neurological function. This helps determine where your back pain originates – a pulled muscle, ruptured disc, sciatica, arthritis, etc.
After the evaluation, the therapist will design a customized treatment plan to target your needs. Therapeutic exercises and techniques will be selected to reduce pain, improve flexibility, strengthen weak muscles, and correct postural imbalances.
Stretching tight muscles is commonly used during physical therapy for lower back pain. Your therapist may have you do basic stretches for your hamstrings, hips, and lower back while lying down, sitting, or standing.
This helps relieve muscle spasms and increase mobility in your spine and pelvis. Therapists often advise stretching first thing in the morning and before periods of prolonged sitting to keep muscles limber throughout the day.
Weak core muscles can contribute to back pain by failing to properly support the spine. Your physical therapist will prescribe targeted exercises to strengthen your abdominal and lower back muscles. This provides stability, improves posture, and reduces strain on your back.
Popular core strengthening exercises include planks, bridges, and various crunches or sit-ups. Resistance training using free weights, elastic bands, or weight machines can also strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine.
Gentle cardiovascular exercise is often incorporated into physical therapy in Aurora IL, programs for back pain. Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or cycling increase blood flow to deliver nutrients that promote healing.
Excess weight puts additional stress on the back, so shedding even a few pounds can make a noticeable difference in pain levels. Always check with your physical therapist before starting any new aerobic activities.
Manual Therapy Techniques
Physical therapists commonly use hands-on techniques to loosen tight muscles and mobilize the spine. Manual therapy may include massage, joint mobilization, trigger point therapy, or muscle energy techniques.
For example, your therapist may gently pressure or manipulate specific vertebrae to improve spinal mobility. Audible “pops” can often be heard as gas bubbles are released within the spinal joints. Patients usually find manual therapy provides both immediate and lasting relief.
Poor posture stresses the muscles and places added pressure on the spine. Your physical therapist will observe how you sit, stand, and walk. They can then offer postural tips and exercises to help maintain the natural curves of your back.
For example, you may be advised to sit with your hips and knees at 90-degree angles. Properly positioning your computer monitor, car seat, etc., can also improve posture. Simple cues like “chest up” and “shoulders back” can help ingrain better posture into your muscle memory.
Home Exercise Program
Your physical therapist will recommend at-home exercises to improve flexibility, strength, and endurance between therapy sessions. This helps reinforce what you’re working on during appointments.
A home exercise program for back pain therapy in Aurora may include core strengthening moves, stretching, and low-impact cardio. Yoga, Pilates, and foam rolling are other options. Therapists may advise specific stretches and exercises before lifting, driving, or doing yardwork based on your needs.
Consistently doing your prescribed home exercises speeds healing and recovery.
Modalities for Pain Relief
Your physical therapist may use certain tools and modalities during appointments to ease back pain.
Common options include:
- Heat/ice packs – Heat relaxes tight muscles, while ice reduces inflammation.
- TENS unit – Small electrical impulses interrupt pain signals.
- Ultrasound – Sound waves deliver deep heat to relieve spasms.
- Traction – A unique table gently pulls/twists the spine to decompress discs.
- Spinal manipulation – Minor movements realign joints/vertebrae.
- Massagers – Soothing vibration loosens tight soft tissue.
These modalities can be combined with mobilization, massage, and therapeutic exercises. Patients often experience decreased pain and increased mobility during and after treatment. Let your therapist know if a particular modality relieves you or seems ineffective.
Physical therapy in Aurora, IL, should be received in the proper setting for efficient pain management and healing. You can count on Physical Therapy Advantage to deliver top-notch care and a treatment plan that is unique to your needs if you live in Aurora, Illinois.
Resist the urge to let lower back discomfort rule your life. Get in touch with Physical Therapy Advantage in Aurora immediately to take the first step towards a future free from pain.