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Physical therapy for lower back pain

What is lower back pain?

While lower back pain is incredibly common among adults, exact symptoms and causes vary widely from patient to patient. Some patients may experience dull, aching pain that develops and worsens gradually over time, while others may experience sharp and sudden pain. Low back pain is usually a result of muscle strain, which can occur when a patient lifts heavy items, bends or twists into awkward positions, or sits or stands for too long, although there are a number of other potential causes.

Lower back pain can also be caused by nerve compression, age-related conditions, or trauma. A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis, and spinal tumors can all result in lower back pain. Many patients find that their lower back pain can be resolved with at-home treatments such as icing and rest, but if the pain is severe and persistent or interferes with day-to-day activities, it’s recommended that patients seek medical attention.

Source: Spine Universe

Lower back pain symptoms

The symptoms of lower back pain vary widely from patient to patient, depending on the cause of the pain, which may start suddenly, or may present as a dull ache that develops gradually over time. Low back pain can also vary in location; It may be contained to the left or right lower back, spread across the entire lower back, or it could move into the buttocks and lower extremities.

Lower back pain is usually described by the type of onset and the pain’s duration. For example, acute lower back pain comes on suddenly but gradually subsides. Subacute lower back pain lasts between 6 weeks and 3 months. Chronic back pain lasts over three months, doesn’t respond to first-line treatments, and tends to be more severe.

The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Dull or achy pain
  • Stinging, burning pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tightness in the back
  • Difficulty standing up straight or walking

Source: Spine-Health

What causes lower back pain?

Lower back pain is often the result of muscle strain or injury; one of the most common causes is improper form while lifting heavy objects. It can also be a symptom of other conditions, including spinal cancer, sciatica, arthritis, or a spinal infection.

Patients between the ages of 30 and 50 are at greater risk of experiencing lower back pain. This pre-retirement patient demographic may work physically demanding jobs or play contact sports in their free time, but their bones and muscles are no longer as strong as they were in their teens and 20s. This combination of factors makes them especially susceptible to injury or strain.

The most common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Muscle strain
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Abnormal spine curvature

Source: Medline Plus

Physical therapy for for lower back pain

If lower back pain is persistent and interferes with day-to-day activities, it’s advised that patients seek medical attention and consider physical therapy as a solution. For some conditions that cause lower back pain, including lumbar spinal stenosis, PT has been shown to work just as well as surgery at a much lower cost.

A physical therapist will need to perform an initial evaluation to understand the type of pain the patient is experiencing. From there, the therapist create a personalized treatment plan. Most treatment plans will include a combination of pain relief techniques, targeted stretches, strengthening exercises, and postural training.

Source: Hardvard Health Publishing

Luna’s physical therapists treat lower back pain
in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles

Luna employs physical therapists with years of experience treating patients with lower back pain. Our licensed, certified physical therapists combine proven techniques with tailored routines to produce physical therapy programs that address each patient’s unique condition.

Best of all, with Luna, patients can receive physical therapy in the comfort of their homes. Our physical therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.

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