If you have low back pain, you are not alone. At any given time, about 25% of people in the United States report having low back pain within the past 3 months. In most cases, low back pain is mild and disappears on its own. For some people, back pain can return or hang on, leading to a decrease in quality of life or even to disability.
If your low back pain is accompanied by the following symptoms, you should visit your local emergency department immediately:
o Loss of bowel or bladder control
o Numbness in the groin or inner thigh
These symptoms might indicate a condition called "cauda equina syndrome," in which nerves at the end of the spinal cord that control bowel and bladder function are being squeezed.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of low back pain vary a great deal. Your pain might be dull, burning, or sharp. You might feel it at a single point or over a broad area. It might be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness. Sometimes, it might spread into 1 or both legs.
There are 3 different types of low back pain:
o Acute – pain lasting less than 3 months
o Recurrent – acute symptoms come back
o Chronic – pain lasting longer than 3 months
Most people who have an episode of acute pain will have at least 1 recurrence. While the actual cause of low back pain isn't often known, symptoms usually resolve on their own. Psychosocial factors, such as self-confidence and a perceived ability to cope with disability, have been shown to be predictors of who might not recover from low back pain as expected. We used to believe the cause of low back pain was related directly to the tissues of our body, but are now understanding the condition to be more complex.
Although low back pain is rarely serious or life threatening, there are several conditions that may be related to your low back pain, such as:
o Degenerative disk disease
o Lumbar spinal stenosis
o Herniated disk
o Tumors of the spine
While we used to believe the above list contributed directly to low back pain, research has shown these conditions are also present in people without any pain (asymptomatic).
How Is It Diagnosed?
Your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation that includes:
o A review of your health history.
o Questions about your specific symptoms.
o A thorough examination that includes assessing the quality and quantity of your movements, and any movement behaviors that might put you at risk for delayed recovery.
o Tests to identify signs or symptoms that could indicate a serious health problem, such as broken bones or cancer.
o Assessment of how you use your body at work, at home, during sports, and at leisure.
For most cases of low back pain imaging tests, such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are not helpful for recovery. For example, in a recently published article comparing patients who received an MRI first vs physical therapy first for low back pain, the patients who received an MRI first spent on average $4,793 more (with similar outcomes in each group). If your physical therapist suspects that your low back pain might be caused by a serious health condition, the therapist will refer you to other health care professionals for further evaluation.
How Can a Physical Therapist Help?
Your physical therapist can help you improve or restore mobility and reduce low back pain—in many cases, without expensive surgery or the side effects of medications.
If you are having low back pain right now:
o Stay active, and do as much of your normal routine as possible (bed rest for longer than a day can actually slow down your recovery.)
o If your pain lasts more than a few days or gets worse, schedule an appointment to see your physical therapist.
Not all low back pain is the same, so your treatment should be tailored to for your specific symptoms and condition. Once the examination is complete, your physical therapist will evaluate the results, identify the factors that have contributed to your specific back problem, and design an individualized treatment plan for your specific back problem.
Treatments may include:
o Manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, to improve the mobility of joints and soft tissues
o Specific strengthening and flexibility exercises
o Education about how you can take better care of your back
o Training for proper lifting, bending, and sitting; for doing chores both at work and in the home; and for proper sleeping positions
o Assistance in creating a safe and effective physical activity program to improve your overall health
o Use of ice or heat treatments or electrical stimulation to help relieve pain
Can this Injury or Condition be Prevented?
As experts in restoring and improving mobility and movement in peopleâ€™s lives, physical therapists play an important role not only in treating persistent or recurrent low back pain, but also in preventing it and reducing your risk of having it come back.
Physical therapists can teach you how to use the following strategies to prevent back pain:
o Use good body positioning at work, home, or during leisure activities.
o Keep the load close to your body during lifting.
o Ask for help before lifting heavy objects.
o Maintain a regular physical fitness regimen—staying active can help to prevent injuries.
There is evolving evidence suggesting that the best strategy in preventing disability and care-seeking for low back pain is simply understanding what we are learning about the topic of pain. To learn more, read more about Pain.
What Kind of Physical Therapist Do I Need?
All physical therapists are prepared through education and experience to treat people who have low back pain. You may want to consider:
o A physical therapist who is experienced in treating people with orthopedic or musculoskeletal problems.
o A physical therapist who is a board-certified clinical specialist, or who completed a residency or fellowship in orthopedic physical therapy. This therapist has advanced knowledge, experience, and skills that may apply to your condition.
You can find physical therapists who have these and other credentials by using Find a PT, the online tool built by the American Physical Therapy Association to help you search for physical therapists with specific clinical expertise in your geographic area.
General tips when you're looking for a physical therapist (or any other health care provider):
o Get recommendations from family and friends or from other health care providers.
o When you contact a physical therapy clinic for an appointment, ask about the physical therapists' experience in helping people with low back pain.
o During your first visit with the physical therapist, be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible, and say what makes your symptoms worse.
EPS 1st Physiotherapy Seminar 2016 "The knee Joint " on 14th April 2016 attended by 150 physiother...
Physio Dubai 2016
Specialists said that the physical therapy of cerebral palsy disease that affects children......
EPS is a member of WFATT
EPS had received great news from Dr. Larry J. Leverenz , the president of World Federation of Athlet...
4th Musculoskeletal Seminar "Head & Neck "
4th Musculoskeletal physiotherapy Seminar "Head & Neck" is now open for online registration . to reg...
MusculoSkeletal Ultrasound Course
Musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS) has been getting more popularity in the field of physiotherapy in...
5th Emirates Physiotherapy Conference
Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister...
The shoulder girdle as part of the Upper Quadrant Chain Workshop
The shoulder girdle as part of the Upper Quadrant Chain workshop 23 Sep 2016 This workshop is ta...
Peter O'Sullivan's Cognitive Functional Therapy Course
EPS is organizing Peter O'Sullivan's Cognitive Functional Therapy course on 24th & 25th Sep 2016 at ...
1st Pediatric Physiotherapy Seminar
All are invited to attend 1st pediatric Physiotherapy Seminar on Thursday 22nd Sep at 18:30 - Latifa...
Complete Decongestive Therapy Diploma
EPS is organizing Complete Decongestive Therapy Diploma Course . for registration download the regis...
Meeting with Health Regulation Department - DHA
EPS board members : Amal Alshamlan, Naima Saleh & Meer Ibrahim had a meeting with Health Regulation ...
Clinical Taping for Neuromusculoskeletal Problems Workshop
EPS is organising a workshop on 9th & 10th Dec 2016 : Clinical Taping for Neuromusculoskeletal Probl...
2nd Pediatric Seminar
EPS is organizing multidisciplinary scientific meeting "prematurity study day" involving physiothera...
Understanding lumbar and pelvic girdle pain course
27th, 28th and 29th of October ...
3rd Pediatric Seminar "An update on Cerebral Palsy"
3rd Pediatric Seminar "An update on Cerebral Palsy" on 30th March 2017 at Latifa Hospital Auditorium...
Clinical Taping Course
Due to the high demand on the clinical taping course , EPS is organizing it for the second time on 1...
Neurodynamics, analysis & management of neurogenic pain course
Neurodynamics, analysis & management of neurogenic pain ( advanced level) course is taking place 3 -...
3rd Musculoskeletal Seminar "The Shoulder"
EPS is organizing its 3rd Musculoskeletal Seminar "The shoulder" at Latifa Hospital Auditorium on Ja...
2nd Musculoskeletal Seminar
EPS is organizing its 2nd Musculoskeletal Seminar on Sep 3rd 2016 a Latifa Hospital ...
Complete Decongestive Therapy Diploma Course
EPS is organizing the Complete Decongestive Therapy Diploma again in 2017 - 2018 . Register online ...
Orthopedic Manual Therapy Certificate Course
Orthopedic Manual Therapy Course Level 1 8- 11 Sep 2017 & Level II 13-16 Oct 2017 at...
5th Musculoskeleltal Physiotherapy Seminar
5th Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Seminar "Updates on Pain " is open for registration online htt...
4th Pediatric Seminar
register for the 4th pediatric seminar : Application of Sensory Integration in Pediatric Practice on...
6th Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Seminar
The 6th MSK physiotherapy Seminar is organized on Oct 19th 2017 at Latifa Hospital Auditorium . reg...
Women's Health Physiotherapy Seminar
Women's Health Physiotherapy Seminar is organized on 7th Dec at Latifa Hospital Auditorium. register...
Diagnosis & Management of Autism Disorder seminar
Register for a seminar on Diagnosis & Management of Autism Disorder ...
Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation of stroke patient seminar
Register for Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation of stroke patient seminar https://goo.gl/forms/nRbUB2...
EPS signs MOU with SPTA
EPS had signed MOU with Saudi Physical Therapy Association (SPTA) today in the meeting attended by D...