A new study conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) shows startling results on low back pain. Nearly two-thirds of Americans suffer from low back pain, yet 37% of them do not seek professional help for pain relief, oftentimes because they don’t realize they can prevent or treat the condition with the help of a physical therapist. Given the statistics, there’s a good chance that you or someone you know fits in this category. Low back pain can affect your daily life in many ways including exercise, sleep, work, and general daily activities.
- Low back pain isn’t just for those who spend a lot of time on their feet. In fact, more than half (54 percent) of Americans who experience low back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting.
- It is a common perception that bed rest will help alleviate back pain, but this is not true. In fact, bed rest for longer than a day can actually slow down your recovery.
You don’t have to live with low back pain
While low back pain is a common problem, it doesn’t have to be a common part of everyday life. Physical therapists advise staying as active as possible and sticking to a normal routine, since bed rest for longer than a day can actually slow down recovery. Most low back pain is not serious; much of the time it is caused by overuse, strain, or injury. Rarely, low back pain is caused by a more serious condition such as a herniated disc or osteoarthritis. If pain lasts more than a few days or gets worse, it may be advisable to make an appointment with a physical therapist.
By determining the cause of a patient’s low back pain, physical therapists get to the source of the problem and develop a treatment plan, which may include a combination of exercises to strengthen the back, manual therapy to improve the mobility of joints and soft tissues, and education about how to take better care of the back to relieve pain in the long term. If you are experiencing low back pain, give us a call to set up a consultation. Our therapists are trained to understand how the spine works. To find out more, download the APTA ebook.