back pain relief queens ny

Everything You Need to Know About Back Pain

The American Physical Therapy Association states that back pain is the most commonly experienced form of pain for Americans. In fact, one in every four Americans has sustained some sort of back pain in the past three months. Back pain commonly results from a muscle strain or injury; however, it can also develop as a result of an underlying condition, such as a herniated disc, sciatica, or degenerative disc disease. For more information on back pain, and how you can find back pain relief, contact Hands-On Physical therapy today.

Why do I have back pain?

Did you know that the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 149 million workdays are lost due to back pain? It is a sensation that is all too common for millions of people. 60-70% of people across industrialized nations experience back pain, which can greatly hinder daily life and limit you from participating in certain tasks and activities that you enjoy. If left untreated, back pain can also progress into more serious health issues.

There are a large number of conditions that can result in back pain. For example, poor posture, car accidents, and sports-related injuries are just a few of the ways that someone may develop back pain.

Injury is the most common cause of back pain. This can happen in one of two ways: 1) an instant, sudden trauma, such as a car accident, or 2) repetitive use that puts excessive stress on the back over time, such as bending down several times throughout the week to pick up boxes.

The pain you experience may either be acute or chronic, depending on how it was sustained. Acute pain means that it lasts for a short time and is usually severe. Chronic pain means that it lasts generally three months or longer and it can either cause dull or severe persistent pain. The pain you experience is typically either rooted in your back muscles or the bones in your spine.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, some other factors that may contribute to your back pain include:

What is common treatment for back pain?

A common treatment for back pain is medication, usually for pain manageability. Your physician may prescribe NSAID pain relievers, corticosteroids, or antibiotics for your back pain treatment. This is fine for short-term treatment, but if your pain persists, these medications can become harmful.

 

Medication is easy – you pop it in your mouth, chase it with water, and your pain subsides shortly afterward. However, over time they can also cause some unfavorable side effects, and in some cases, they can be habit-forming. With NSAIDs, you run the risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. With corticosteroids, you run the risk of cataracts, high blood sugar levels, and bone loss. Luckily, there is a much safer and healthier alternative to treating persistent back pain: physical therapy.

 

At your initial consultation, your physical therapist will ask you several questions regarding your medical history, lifestyle, and painful area(s). This information will assist your physical therapist in creating the best treatment plan for you and your specific needs, so you can be provided with long-term results.

After your consultation, your evaluation process will begin. Your physical therapist will examine you by assessing your posture, coordination, strength, balance, flexibility, blood pressure, and/or heart rate, depending on your pain and symptoms. This evaluation will be both manual and visual.

When you’ve completed your thorough evaluation, your physical therapist will then create your treatment plan, beginning with passive physical therapy and leading into active physical therapy. You may also be given exercises to do at home, during your time away from treatments. This is all done in order to reduce pain, avoid further injury, and provide you with the quickest recovery time possible.

If you are looking for back pain relief in Queens, NY, give our office a call today to schedule your initial consultation. We’ll help you stand up to your back pain!

 

How will physical therapy provide back pain relief?

 

Your physical therapist will focus on treating the root of your back pain, in order to help you regain mobility, function, and comfort. Your individualized treatment plan will incorporate the best methods possible for relieving your pain, facilitating the healing process, and restoring function and movement to the affected area(s) of your back. Your initial appointment will consist of a comprehensive evaluation, which will help your physical therapist discover which forms of treatment will be best for the orthopedic, neurologic, or cardiovascular condition you are experiencing.

With physical therapy treatments, there are two main categories of treatment – passive physical therapy and active physical therapy:

 

  • Passive physical therapy

 

The purpose of passive physical therapy is to help pain become more manageable, and hopefully to alleviate it altogether. Lower back pain can be a debilitating condition, impeding your physical abilities. Because of this, physical therapists work hard to reduce pain as much as possible. Passive physical therapy can include any combination of these specialty treatments, as deemed fit by your physical therapist:

  • Manual therapy.
  • Massage.
  • Ice/heat packs.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Electrical stimulation, such as TENS Units.
  • Iontophoresis.
  • Hydrotherapy.

Some of these methods are used to reduce pain and swelling, such as heat/ice packs and massage therapy. Electrical stimulation, while it sounds intimidating, is a painless treatment that delivers minuscule waves of electricity throughout your nervous system. This also helps with pain relief, and it can also help in decreasing muscle spasms, as well as encouraging your body to produce pain-relieving hormones. Hydrotherapy is an aquatic-based treatment, in which patients will perform low-intensity movements in water, thus relieving any muscle pressure they may be experiencing and allowing their joints to move freely and comfortably. These techniques are more commonly used for the treatment of lower back pain than others, although any could be prescribed based on your physical therapist’s discretion.

 

  • Active physical therapy

 

The purpose of active physical therapy is to provide exercises that the patient can do on their own in the later stages of their physical therapy treatment. Once your lower back pain has subsided enough that your physical therapist believes you are ready for active physical therapy, he or she will set up an exercise schedule specific to your needs. This can include any combination of stretching, strength training, and stability training, and it is all geared toward helping you gain back your flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength. These exercises will help provide support to the painful area and will guide you further in your recovery process.

How can I get started?

For the best low back pain treatment in Queens, NY, don’t hesitate to contact  Hands-On Physical therapy today. At our New York physical therapy practice, our main goals are to help you relieve your pain, improve your strength, and reach your optimum levels of function. Schedule a consultation with one of our licensed and dedicated physical therapists to discuss what the best course of treatment will be for you, and get started on your personalized treatment plan as quickly as possible!

Stand up to your back pain today. We will help you reach your physical goals so you can get back to living your daily life, free from pain or discomfort.