Is Physical Therapy Worth it for Back Pain?

Physical therapy for back pain is an effective treatment option, but some patients are hesitant to give it a try. Instead, they spend months or even years with pain getting in the way of fully enjoying life. Their sleep is interrupted by back pain, they miss out on activities they used to enjoy and relaxation is replaced with attempts to try to find some relief. If you suffer from back pain, you know what an unpleasant interruption it can be to your life. And you probably also know how frustrating it can be trying wraps and ointments, pills and specialists in an attempt to find some relief.

Many people put off physical therapy for back pain because they don’t believe it will help their condition. They falsely believe it will be too time consuming, too costly, or too much of a commitment for their already busy lifestyle to handle. But in reality, most of those people are missing out on a cost-effective, time-efficient, safe and convenient method for finding relief from chronic back pain. Here at Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy, our highly-trained physical therapists guide patients through the healing process to enjoying relief from upper back pain, lower back pain and chronic neck pain.

We offer four convenient locations in Oakland, Wayne, Fair Lawn, and Closter, New Jersey. If you’re in North Jersey, one of these locations is sure to be close to your home or workplace. With evening and weekend hours, we work around your schedule to make physical therapy fit into your busy life. We understand you want to get back to enjoying life, so our physical therapists tailor your treatments toward your lifestyle and capabilities. Let’s explore more about how physical therapy can address back issues and chronic pain.

How does physical therapy help back pain?

Physical therapy is actually one of the first treatments most healthcare professionals recommend to patients suffering from back pain, particularly lower back pain. That’s because physical therapy provides a guided way to strengthen the major muscles that support the back and spine. Particular movements can help condition the tissue and joints in this area to be more flexible and less stiff. This can allow a patient to regain better posture and enhances the strength necessary for supporting the body’s upper carriage.

Most people who live with chronic pain think of it as an isolated issue. You may not realize the cascade of negative impacts a “bad back” can have on the rest of your body. Chronic pain, whether it’s in the back or in other areas of the body, typically causes sufferers to participate in less physical activity. This pain may prevent you from walking, hiking or doing the things in life you once enjoyed. Not only is that bad for your overall happiness, but it can also cause your body over time to lose strength and flexibility.

It’s unfortunate, but chronic pain can make your entire body weaker and stiffer. Physical therapy addresses these ripple effects of chronic pain with movements and exercises that help you gradually and safely restore your strength, mobility and flexibility.

What types of exercises will I do in physical therapy for back pain?

The goal of physical therapy for back pain is to focus on stretching techniques which help the body to realign the spine so that the spinal column can function properly. Proper function of the spine means relief from pain, because nerves won’t be irritated and can function properly. Some of the exercises you may encounter during physical therapy for back pain include:

  • Core Exercises – by strengthening your abdominal area, you can provide additional strength and support to your upper body, which helps relieve strain and stress from the spine.
  • Lumbar Support Exercises – you may not think your legs, hips and butt have anything to do with your back, but they affect everything from how you sit to how you walk. By strengthening these muscles, you’ll be able to improve posture and gait and support your back.
  • Cardio exercises – raising your heart rate isn’t just good for cardiovascular health, it can also contribute to a healthy spine by improving circulation, reducing inflammation and encouraging blood flow to the spine.

What will my physical therapist teach me to relieve my back pain?

A trained physical therapist will offer exercises and lifestyle changes that strengthen the back and prevent further stress or injury to the muscles and joints in the back. Through specific movements, you’ll learn to strengthen your back while enhancing your flexibility and range of motion. You’ll also learn how to prevent future injury with proper bending and lifting techniques.

Can I get the same results by just doing exercises at home and skipping physical therapy?

We all know that if you search for “Back Pain Exercises” on YouTube or anywhere online for that matter, you’ll be inundated with thousands of videos and instructions for what to do to improve your back conditions. It seems like the solution to all of your problems, right? But if that was the case, there would be no need for personal trainers, physical therapists and we’d all be in the best physical shape of our lives. We all know it’s not just access to information that’s necessary. Going to physical therapy is a distraction-free setting that allows you to focus solely on your healing in a controlled environment, free from notifications on your phone, family interruptions or the temptation to just sit down and watch TV.

Then there’s the difference between attempting to do something yourself and utilizing the guidance of a trained professional. Working with a physical therapist will allow you to receive feedback and guidance so you get the most out of any exercise routine. At Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy, we’re respectful of your time. So we’re focused on supplying you with the training and education so you expedite your recovery with home workouts. Our goal is to move you through the therapy process so you can conclude it successfully.

What can I do beyond physical therapy to help improve my back pain?

Chiropractic care is often paired with physical therapy and for good reason. That’s because chiropractic care can address misalignments in the spine that cause pain and discomfort. This therapy can address issues with the spine and correct misalignments which can lead to inflammation and pain. By pairing chiropractic care with the strengthening and stretching exercises of physical therapy, you can enhance your healing process.

Physical Therapy is Easy and Convenient at Our Four North Jersey Locations

As you can see, physical therapy can do wonders for back pain. It doesn’t carry the risks and uncertainty of painkillers or invasive surgery and it can benefit your entire body. If you live in North Jersey, physical therapy is easy to access with Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy. We have four convenient office locations throughout the northern New Jersey region, including locations in Oakland, Wayne, Fair Lawn, and Closter, New Jersey.

If back pain or any type of chronic pain is getting in your way of enjoying life to the fullest, don’t waste another minute suffering. Reach out to Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy for the highest level of care and attention. Our compassionate and caring physical therapists are ready to guide you through your journey toward healing.