Mild to serious pain or uneasiness in the lower back region is known as lumbago or lower back pain. The pain might be (A) acute (sudden and extreme) or (B) chronic, if it has lasted over three months. People who do a lot of physical exertion are often affected by it. Also, back pain may occur as you age.
Physiotherapy is often tried as a first solution to persistent lower back pain. Most doctors advise a patient of back pain for a four-week session as a conservative approach before pursuing aggressive treatment options such as surgery. In most cases, physiotherapy brings relief from back pain in as early as two to three sessions. A four week physiotherapy programme ensures that the underlying cause of back pain is well-addressed and you don’t get the back pain all over again.
The motive behind physiotherapy is to reduce inflammation, pain and increase function of the back. Physiotherapy also teaches a patient certain good practices in order to negate the possibility of getting the pain back.
Two Forms of Physiotherapy-
1. Passive Therapy: This is a form of physiotherapy that is usually used as the first phase of pain treatment, includes application of ice packs, electrical stimulation and heat application. These are the very first steps taken for immediate pain relief, before moving to routine physiotherapy that involves following an exercise schedule.
2. Active Therapy: Active physiotherapy which is usually phase two of your treatment includes undertaking of specific exercise schedule and certain stretching activities. This approach includes exercise therapy mostly done to rehabilitate the back muscles and spinal cord. The exact schedule is decided by the physiotherapist, depending on the location and duration of pain.
How Physiotherapy works for back pain?
A physiotherapist will usually use a cocktail of the following after a thorough assessment of your pain, its location, cause and involved muscles and nerves:
1. Strengthening Exercises For Back Pain: Certain prescribed exercises such as lumbar stabilization or other exercises should be done for about fifteen to twenty minutes on a regular basis to strengthen your back muscles. These strengthen your core muscles and help in relieving lower back pain as well. These can help in relieving pain if done right. This is why you should get directions from professionals or qualified physiotherapists.
2. Stretching Exercises For Back Pain: It is advised to stretch your hamstring muscles every now and then if you suffer from back pain. It is a very simple form of stretching but you may forget to do it every day. This is why you should schedule your exercises and adhere to the schedule. Incorporate it into your daily routine. There may be other stretches that you can look into or ypu can consult your physical therapist to advise you on.
3. Specialised Techniques: Sometimes, physiotherapist may use a combination of special techniques like manual therapy and neuro-dynamic techniques to ease your nerves and muscles in the pain-affected area.
4. Heat and Cold Therapy: It is one of the most common types of therapy that is used and is mostly used towards the initial period of pain. While some may find heat therapy more useful, others may resort to cold therapies. Sometimes, people use alternate therapy. This therapy is recommended to be performed once every two hours.