It can be tough to go about daily life and enjoy the things you love when you’re constantly dealing with the uncomfortable nag of lower back pain. It’s frustrating and can often be debilitating, but if you feel like you’re the only one fighting this ongoing battle, you’re not alone! Debilitating, lower back pain is extremely common, affecting a whopping 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives.
If you’ve had a back injury or a herniated disc in your back, you may deal with back pain on a regular basis. But you don’t have to experience an injury to feel the effects of lower back pain. It can also occur from a pulled muscle, muscle tightness, or even changes in air pressure. In fact, oftentimes severe back pain can set in for no logical reason at all.
Now that we’re heading into the winter season, does it seem like your lower back pain is getting even worse?
Fluctuations in air pressure, known as barometric pressure, can cause pain in connective tissues and joint spaces.
Whatever the issue may be, physical therapy is a great remedy to treat lower back pain symptoms. In this blog, we break down the differences between types of back pain and how we treat them to get you back to feeling your best.
Types of Back Pain
There are two general types of lower back pain that you may experience.
This is a short-term back pain that technically ends after 12 days. However, it’s always a part of chronic pain. Acute pain in the physical therapy world just means recent pain and comes on with sudden, sharp pain. Many of the pains you experience with acute pain can develop into chronic pain if not treated promptly.
This type of back pain lasts for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. Someone who suffers from chronic back pain will almost always have acute exacerbation of pain as well.
What to Expect at Physical Therapy for Lower Back Pain
There are a whole host of reasons why you may experience lower back pain, and at Physio Physical Therapy, we treat all of the underlying musculoskeletal causes. Our skilled team will address your issues and come up with a plan catered to your needs. Here’s what you can expect for some treatment options.
Sciatic nerve pain can be intense and debilitating but physical therapy is one of the best ways to treat it.
We start off learning more about your condition, verifying with tests and measures, to come up with a treatment plan that’s specific for you. In addition to in-clinic treatments, we’ll provide you with targeted stretches and exercises for you to do at home.
For SI Dysfunctions
Recent research has shown that only 18.5% of lower back pain is related to the SI joint. When your SI joint becomes inflamed, you’ll start feeling lower back pain. When present, pain is usually only around the gluteal area and does not tend to radiate down the leg.
We treat SI Dysfunction by learning more about your condition first and then developing a plan to help. We combine in-clinic treatments with exercises for you to do at home.
For Disc Problems
Herniated, bulging, and degenerated discs are all common issues that can cause lower back pain. If you suffer from one of these back problems, we can help.
We’ll come up with a customized plan for you that involves in-clinic exercises and treatments. Our physical therapists will help you work on proper posture and help improve your muscle strength to treat your lower back pain. You can learn more about our various treatments here.
3 Exercises for Lower Back Pain
If you’re looking for some easy, pain relief options, here are a few exercises to try at home.
Bridges work the gluteus maximus — one of the most important muscles in the body. By strengthening these muscles, you can help alleviate lower back pain.
Start by lying on the ground with your knees bent. Place the feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Press feet into the floor, keeping arms by your side. Raise your buttocks off the ground until the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the knees. Squeeze the buttocks while shoulders remain on the floor. Lower your body to the ground and rest for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise 15 times.
2. Cobra Pose
Most people in the United States bend forward an average of 4,400 times per day and backwards only 100 times per day. Bending forwards so much can exacerbate a herniated or bulging disc, making these pains worse. To help give your ligaments a change, try doing some rounds of cobra pose.
For this exercise, begin on your stomach with your feet hip-distance apart and your hands beside your ribs. Extend your big toes straight back and press down with all ten tips of the toes to activate your quadriceps. Rotate your inner thighs toward the ceiling to broaden and stretch your lower back. Pressing down lightly with the palms of your hands, lift your head and chest upward, rolling your shoulders back and down. Keep the back of your neck long. Straighten your arms while keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Remember to have at least a slight bend in your elbows for this exercise.
3. Lower Back Rotation Stretches
This low back stretch helps relieve tension while also stabilizing the core muscles.
Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. While you keep your shoulders firm on the floor, slowly roll both bent knees over to one side. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise on the opposite side. Repeat on each side 2-3 times.
Ready to Try Physio Physical Therapy?
Our expert team of Asheville physical therapists will work with you to address your lower back pain and help you feel better. Get back to feeling healthy and back to enjoying the activities you love! Book your appointment today.