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Role Of Physiotherapy In Treating Spine Pain!

Written and reviewed by
BPTh/BPT, Mullligans Manual Therapy
Physiotherapist, Chandigarh  •  14 years experience
Role Of Physiotherapy In Treating Spine Pain!

Spinal pain is one of the most acute problems which people face as a result of incorrect posture, keeping a bent back for long hours and also due to lack of precautionary measures taken while doing heavy weight exercises. Pain in the spine tends to slow you down by restricting your movement. Hence, it becomes one of the factors which lead to physical disability, mainly at workplace.

Physiotherapy and spine pain

  • Physiotherapy is considered as one of the most extensively used forms of treatment adopted in order to gain relief from spinal pain. Our back and spine are designed to provide a significant amount of strength, protecting the extremely sensitive spinal cord and nerve roots, still offers the flexibility and allows for mobility in all directions.
  • The use of physiotherapy to treat spine pain is done in two modes, as a single line of treatment and in combination with other treatments like massage, traction, heat therapy, ultrasound etc.
  • Spine plays a crucial role in our day to day lives as it helps in movement, providing the necessary support, protecting the central nervous system and allowing it to function via the spinal cord. Thus keeping the spine in a healthy condition is of utmost importance.
  • Physiotherapy provides the ideal form of treatment and it is an integral part of the healing process. Through the implementation of different physical therapy techniques, one can not only get relief from the pain but also make sure that his or her daily activities are not hampered.

Treatment of spine pain through physiotherapy
There are certain key aspects of physiotherapy which is essential for treating spine pain. They are described in brief as follows:

  • Early activity: No matter how much pain you are feeling in your spine, the ideal way to go ahead with the treatment process is by making early movement. This is encouraged by physiotherapists as significant amount of evidence is there to prove the fact. Keeping yourself immobilized is not going to serve the purpose as that would result in accumulation of more pain due to loss of movement.
  • Specific stabilization exercises: This particular aspect of physiotherapy deals with putting the stress on improving the strength and stability of muscles that have been weakened as a result of spine pain. It helps to get rid of the cramped feeling.
  • General stretching exercises: Physiotherapists advice patients to carry out a series of well structured stretching exercises after diagnosing the cause of spine pain.

Passive physical therapy treatment methods for spine pain
When the exercises do not seem to work, physiotherapists can consider giving patient, passive therapies in the form of:

  • Heat or ice packs: Ice packs would help prevent swelling of spinal cord and also reduce inflammation. This could be followed by applying heat as it stimulates blood flow to the area.
  • TENS units: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation treats spine pain by using low voltage electric current. This is the electrotherapy treatment.
  • Ultrasound: Through ultrasound, vibration is used to deliver heat and energy to the spinal muscles, ligaments, tendons and pains. It’s ultimate goal is to reduce pain and heal faster.
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