Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Orthopedic Associates' Blog

Do I need Physical Therapy for my back pain?
Do I need Physical Therapy for my back pain?

Dr. Mohammed Paracha

Your back hurts… a lot. An ice pack, two pain relievers, and massaging your lower back for a few minutes helps take the edge off. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to deal with the same ache and stiffness? Your back may not be injured to the point of needing surgery, but there’s no question you’re in pain. Your doctor recommends physical therapy to help alleviate your discomfort. Do you really need physical therapy for your back pain, even if you’ve never needed back surgery? You may be surprised!

According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, physical therapy can be as effective as surgery and less risky for at least one lower back condition (lumbar spinal stenosis). Surgery brings a series of additional risks, some life-threatening, but it can be extremely effective. Whether it’s a new injury or an old nagging one, you may want to consider physical therapy for your back pain.

Physical therapy can help stretch and reposition your back muscles and musculoskeletal structure. Active stretching combined with regular exercise can help your body maintain a healthy range of motion and reverse disuse atrophy. Trying to relieve your back pain through self-directed exercises can sometimes involve the wrong stretches or degree of stretching. A physical therapist gives you the added safety of a trained professional who can coach you on the proper technique and range of stretching.

Physical therapy can also identify specific core and lower back strengthening exercises to help build up your “belt of muscle” around your abdominal section. The key is to reinforce the surrounding muscles to support your spinal stress. Dynamic stabilization exercises, such as balancing on a exercise ball, strengthen the secondary muscles around the spinal region during everyday motion.

Our Orthopedic Associates team provides a full spectrum of treatment options for back and spine pain, including:

You don’t have to live with an achy back. Get the treatment you need at Orthopedic Associates. Click here to schedule your next appointment or contact any of our St. Louis area locations.

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