Types of Physiotherapy for Back Pain
Back pain can almost always be considered to be multifactorial, meaning that it is caused by a number of issues rather than being caused by just one thing. Physiotherapists are highly trained to deal with many different problems in the joints and soft tissues of the body. When dealing with back pain, your physiotherapist will carry out a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan to help you manage.
Manual therapy will likely be used to target back pain. This type of treatment includes spinal manipulation and mobilisation, and massage in order to alleviate symptoms and manage the conditions that are causing the back pain.
Back pain treatments typically are devised into two categories for physical therapy: active therapy and passive therapy. Active therapy focuses on specific exercises and stretches – this is used especially in the treatment of lower pain back. Passive physical therapy includes therapies which are done to the patient – such as ice packs, heat application, and electrical stimulation. A heat pack may be used to help warm up the muscles in the back prior to exercising and stretching, and an ice pack used afterwards to soothe the muscles. These types of treatments can be continued by the patient at home when they implement their home exercise program.
The patient will be given a home exercise program which has been tailored to their specific needs in order to restore muscle strength and relearn correct movement. This program will be specific to the patient’s back pain condition and can vary greatly. Additionally, a physiotherapist may recommend use of alternate therapies such as acupuncture or dry needling on top of the exercise program.
Patients suffering from back pain are often first referred to a physiotherapist for initial consolation with the intent to try nonsurgical options of treatment first, before considering more aggressive treatment options. The goal is physiotherapy is to decrease back pain, increase body function, and to teach the patient a maintenance regime to prevent future back problems.