Back pain is one of the most common chronic conditions in Canada, affecting four out of five adults at least once during their lives (usually when they’re aged between 30 and 50).
Various factors can contribute to back pain, including:
- a sedentary lifestyle
- bad muscle tone
- being obese
- lifting heavy objects or with poor form
- severe stress or depression
If you’ve experienced back pain, you know how disruptive it can be. You might struggle to sleep or to sit comfortably while enjoying a movie with your family. You might find you’re unable to work to your usual standard — or even at all.
Addressing your back pain as soon as possible is crucial to prevent it getting worse, to start your recovery, and to manage your discomfort. And physiotherapy can help.
How physiotherapy works to relieve back pain
Physiotherapy involves the treatment, management, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal discomfort, whether due to injuries or other conditions — including back pain. Certified physiotherapists also have the training, experience, and skills to treat:
- postural issues
- neck pain
- tennis elbow
Why is this important? Because they can perform an extensive examination of your body and your discomfort to identify where problems stem from, whether this is just back pain or a combination of issues.
For example, if you’re experiencing discomfort due to lifting heavy loads in a warehouse or weights in a gym, you could suffer with pain in the back, shoulders, and elbows. A physiotherapist would focus on each relevant area to help relieve your symptoms and aid your body’s recovery.
Your physiotherapist will also discuss your medical history, which means you’ll need to provide them with honest information on any conditions you have had in the past or still have. The more they know about your body, the more effectively they can plan a treatment program for you.
It’s crucial to tell them all of your symptoms and explain how they’re affecting your quality of life. Once they know what treatment(s) will work best for your back pain, they will elaborate on what this involves and make you aware of any potential risks before they start.
Physiotherapy treatments for back pain
A certified physiotherapist will recommend specific treatments to ease your back pain and help to encourage recovery. Various types of physical therapies are available, including active, passive, and manual.
Active therapy is intended to assist spinal rehabilitation and enable you to start regaining your usual mobility levels. An active physical therapy program usually includes a series of stretches and low-impact aerobic conditioning processes.
When exercise is possible, a physiotherapist will typically recommend a number of different movements capable of alleviating back pain. These may include wall squats, knee-to-chest stretches, straight leg raises, and more.
Passive physical therapy, though, is suited to cases in which back pain is so severe that active therapy is out of the question. As the name implies, passive physiotherapy techniques don’t require you to move any problematic muscles or joints. As a result, it won’t aggravate your discomfort any further.
This might involve cutting-edge ultrasound treatment, applying ice and/or heat packs, and other methods.
Additionally, your physiotherapist could try manual physical techniques, for a more hands-on form of therapy. During this treatment, your physiotherapist will stretch your spine using gentle movements and encourage the back’s return to a healthy range of motion.
Manual therapy is particularly beneficial in removing restriction in muscles, joints, and connective tissues in the target areas. Once the restriction is removed, pain may be relieved and flexibility could improve.
They might also use manipulation techniques, involving a faster, thrusting hand movement on specific areas of your spine. This is obviously a little more vigorous and can create a popping noise — don’t worry, this is a normal part of the process! This may sound familiar if you have any experience of chiropractic care.
Over time, your physiotherapist will continue to perform the required treatment techniques and encourage you to undertake suitable stretching exercises. They will assess your progress, determine which techniques are proving to be the most valuable, and adjust your treatment plan if necessary to help accelerate your recovery however possible.
What else does a physiotherapist do to help back pain?
As well as providing hands-on physical therapy and assisting you to perform your exercises, a physiotherapist will also focus on making improvements in other areas.
This could include providing advice on how to exercise and perform typical actions, whether at work or when playing sports. For example, they might recommend safer ways to lift heavy objects with proper form to reduce the risk of experiencing painful strains and other back problems.
Advice may also apply to your general posture and exercises to perform at home, all to alleviate back pain or prevent it growing worse in the future.
The full treatment plan put together by a certified physiotherapist can make a highly-effective complement to pain medication.
Physiotherapy for back pain in Brampton
As you can see, physiotherapy has the power to make a tremendous difference to your back pain, alleviating symptoms and encouraging recovery. So, how can you try it for yourself?
Astra Healthcare is a private practice and spa providing manual therapies, focusing on a holistic approach suited to each patient. Back pain is incredibly common, affecting adults in different ways, and our certified physiotherapists are committed to delivering the highest standard of service.
We know that making the decision to try physiotherapy can be daunting, especially if you’re new to it or feel concerned about having your back touched when it’s causing you such discomfort. Astra Healthcare has a warm, welcoming, relaxed atmosphere ideal to help you feel at ease each time you visit.
Our physical-therapy experts will perform a thorough assessment of your back pain and overall physical condition to formulate the right treatment program for you. The number of sessions required can vary from one case to another.
Want to learn more about our Brampton physiotherapy for back pain? Get in touch today!