What is physical therapy for back pain?

What Is Physical Therapy for Back Pain? | Border TS

Back pain is the discomfort or pain that can be felt in the region of the back. It can range from mild to severe. The back is a complex structure that is made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and discs. These work together to help support the body’s movement and to protect the spinal cord. Back pain can be caused by a variety of issues. Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for back pain. 

How common is back pain and how does it affect daily life?

Back pain can be an incredibly common issue that plagues people. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that up to 70% of industrialized countries’ populations will experience back pain in their lifetime. It can affect people of any age and have a significant impact on your daily life. Females tend to be affected by lower back pain more than males. 

Effects that back pain can have on your daily life can include:


  • Psychological impact — Back pain can have you missing your daily activities and social interactions. This can cause increased stress, anxiety and depression due to the effect it can have on your daily life.
  • Sleep disruption — Back pain can keep you from sleep due to the pain and discomfort it can cause. 
  • Financial burden — If back pain is keeping you from working, it can become a financial burden on you due to medical expenses and missing work. Back pain is the leading cause of missing work and work-related disabilities. Over 4 million adults have experienced employment difficulties due to back pain. 
  • Avoiding physical activity — You may be more likely to avoid physical activities due to the pain you’re experiencing in your back. This can actually exacerbate your issue than help it. 

Potential causes of back pain can include:

  • Herniated disc — Herniated discs occur when the cushion between the vertebrae become compressed and irritate the nearby nerves. This often occurs in the lower back, but can occur in the mid and upper back as well. 
  • Osteoporosis — Osteoporosis occurs when the bones of the spine become brittle and porous. This can lead to a higher chance of fractures happening. 
  • Spinal stenosis — Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in pain. 
  • Sprains and strains — Injuries to the ligaments, muscles or tendons can occur when twisting or lifting with improper techniques. 
  • Sciatica — The sciatic nerve runs through the lower back and can become pinched. This can cause a sharp and shooting pain to travel through the lower back, down the buttocks, and into the backs of the legs. This can occur due to a herniated disc or muscle pressing on the sciatic nerve.

How can physical therapy help back pain?

Physical therapy offers a variety of treatments that can be incredibly beneficial in helping to alleviate pain experienced from back pain. Different techniques may be used depending on the cause and severity of the pain you’re experiencing. Physical therapy treatments for back pain may include:


  • Manual therapyManual therapy involves hands-on techniques such as joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization. These are intended to help reduce muscle tension, improve joint mobility and alleviate pain in your back. 
  • Electrical stimulation — Electrical stimulation can be used to help block pain signals sent from nerves in the spine to the brain. This can also help improve circulation and decrease muscle tension. 
  • Therapeutic exercises — Physical therapist-guided exercises that are designed to help strengthen your back and core muscles can help improve your flexibility and posture. These can help stabilize your spine, reduce strain and ease pain over time. 

Physical therapy treatments for your back pain can vary in the effectiveness and timeliness depending on the severity of your condition and how you respond to therapy. Your physical therapist can customize your treatment plan to meet your specific needs and goals. Physical therapy can be combined with other treatment approaches such as pain management and lifestyle modification to help you have the best outcome for your back pain relief. 

Border Therapy Services can help you find back pain relief with physical therapy

Border Therapy Services can be a good fit for your physical therapy needs with your back pain. Our physical therapists are highly trained and skilled in helping to treat back pain. They can ensure that you will receive individualized care designed around your particular condition and needs. This tailored approach can help maximize the chances of a successful outcome of finding relief for your back pain. 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.