How Physiotherapists Help You Deal with Back Pain

How To Prevent Back Pain Before it Begins

Physiotherapists are experts in improving and restoring flexibility and movement in the human body, but they can also help you prevent back pain before it even begins. Use the following strategies to help prevent back pain:

  • Stay active and do some form of physical fitness activity every day. This maintains your flexibility.
  • Participate in regular strengthening and stretching exercises to keep your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong and flexible
  • Use labour-saving devices like carts or wheelbarrows to move heavy objects.
  • Get help when lifting heavy objects.
  • Keep a heavy load as close to the line of your body as possible: don’t extend your arms far out from your body when lifting.
  • Mentally remind yourself to use good posture at home, work or play.
  • Read the ergonomic suggestions for any sport or physical activity you do–learn the best way to move.

Symptoms of Back Pain

Back pain manifests itself in many ways: it can be a burning sensation, a dull feeling or a very sharp pain in a definite place in your back. You may also experience muscle spasms and stiffness that may spread down into your legs. Acute back pain lasts less than three months but often returns to become recurrent back pain. Chronic back pain is defined as lasting more than 3 months.

If you are experiencing abnormal back pain for the first time, try and stay active and keep doing what you normally would do(lying down for more than a day can actually impede your body’s attempt to repair itself). If your back pain gets worse or lasts more than a couple of days, you should make an appointment to see a physiotherapist

Causes of Back Pain

Sometimes back pain is caused by injuries, strain or repetitive or improper use. Improper lifting techniques, undue twisting, bending or even too much sitting can contribute to back pain. Sometimes these types of back pain get better on their own by simply abstaining from those activities which may have caused it.

Sometimes back pain can also be caused by physical problems such as osteoporosis, herniated disks, osteoarthritis, fracture, a degenerative disk, tumors on the spine or lumbar spinal stenosis.

How Does A Physiotherapist Diagnose Back Pain?

A physiotherapist will ask you questions and perform a thorough physical examination by reviewing your health history, asking questions about any symptoms and assessing your bodily actions when doing sports, when you are at work or when you are at home and at leisure. He will also perform tests to discover any problems with your posture, the strength of your muscles, the mobility of your joints and your flexibility and limits of movement. He will also check for any signs of a more serious underlying health problem, such as cancerous tumours or fractured bones. If this is the case, your physiotherapist will always refer you to the relevant health care professional for further examination.

How Can a Physiotherapist Help with Back Pain?

Physiotherapists help you increase or restore your mobility, thereby often reducing back pain without medications or surgeries.

Since there can be many causes of back pain, your physiotherapist will tailor your treatment so as to address your unique condition and symptoms. When your evaluation is complete and the results have been analyzed, a physiotherapist will be able to tell you which factors are contributing to your back pain. He will then devise a specialized treatment plan which may include:

  • The use of hot or cold pack treatments or electric stimuli to ease back pain.
  • Exercises that help make muscles and joints stronger and more flexible.
  • Manual manipulations, such as spinal manipulation, that will restore or improve the mobility of soft tissues and joints.
  • Training for the correct methods for lifting objects, sitting, bending, sleeping and doing jobs around the house and at work.
  • Counseling on the proper way to take of your back, such as posture, bending and walking.
  • Creating a daily overall activity program to keep you healthy in the future.

How to Choose a Physiotherapist

All physiotherapists are extensively trained and have the experience to treat people with back pain. Use these tips to find the physiotherapist who is right for you:

  • look for a physiotherapist who has lots of experience treating orthopedic or muscular-skeletal, problems.
  • look for a physiotherapist is a board-certified clinical specialist or who completed a fellowship or residency in orthopedic physical therapy. These types of physiotherapists have advanced experience, education and skills that can especially help you with your condition.
  • Check with family, friends or other health care professionals for their recommendations.
  • Ask your potential physiotherapist to describe his experience in treating back pain.
  • Choose a physiotherapist with whom you can feel comfortable discussing and describing your symptoms in detail.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy is a hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. A trained massage therapist focuses on the normalization of the soft tissues affected by stress, injury and illness through the use of manual techniques that improve circulation, enhance muscular relaxation, relieve pain, reduce stress, enhance immune function or promote health and well-being.

You don’t need to be injured or in pain to experience massage, it can be used as a tool to help facilitate your general well being. Many people seek massage therapy regularly to help them perform at their best and feel positive about themselves.

An increasing number of clinical research studies show massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion and increases endorphins (enhancing medical treatment). Although therapeutic massage does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from injury or illness. It can also hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury.

Custom Orthotics

What are custom foot orthotics?

Foot orthotics are shoe inserts that can be used to treat foot, ankle, knee, hip, and even back pain. Custom foot orthotics are corrective devices, resembling insoles that slip inside shoes to counterbalance forces exerted on the skeletal structure by both muscles and gravity.
Orthotics reduces pain and discomfort by improving proper weight distribution.

Who needs a custom orthotic?

You are probably familiar with the shoe inserts that you can buy at the store.  These are often beneficial for certain conditions or the “average” person.  In many cases a custom orthotic is much more effective because they are designed specifically to meet your individual needs.  It is also important that you get the right custom orthotic for you.

Custom Orthotics Newmarket

Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of hair-thin needles into the skin at precise points known as acupuncture points.

Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain and spinal cord. Endorphins are actually chemicals produced within our own bodies and are almost identical to morphine. These chemicals mimic morphine by attaching to opiate receptor sites found throughout the nervous system.

Endorphins help to block pain pathways that relay pain messages from the body to the brain, resulting in relief of pain, general relaxation and biochemical restoration of the body’s own internal regulation systems.

An office visit will last from 15 to 30 minutes.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic care focuses on restoring and maintaining the health of your joints, muscles and nerves through the use of an adjustment. A spinal adjustment can restore normal movement, relieve pain and stimulate higher function of your brain and nervous system resulting in a renewed sense of vitality. Chiropractors practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment.