If you are currently suffering from lower back pain, you may be wondering what you can and should do about the situation. When you go to the doctor, after they examine you, they may suggest that you give physical therapy a try. However, you might still not know what to expect from physical therapy for your lower back pain. Get to know some of what you can expect from the physical therapy process.
Your First Appointment Will Be Partially Assessment
The first appointment you have in physical therapy will be at least partially an assessment of your current condition. The physical therapist will ask you to perform a series of tasks like walking, standing, bending down, and the like to determine your flexibility, posture, and other factors related to the health of your lower back. They will ask you about the pain and when it is worse and what tasks are difficult for you because of your lower back.
All of this will be used to develop your physical therapy treatment plan and program. Each patient is different and has different requirements and capabilities when they begin physical therapy. This assessment helps to ensure that you get a plan customized to your unique circumstances.
Your Physical Therapy Will Likely Combine Passive and Active Therapies
There are two main types of physical therapy offered for patients with lower back pain. They are active and passive therapies. Passive therapies are options like electrical stimulation, ultrasound, massage, and heat and cold treatments. You do not have to move or do anything during these treatments, which is why they are passive.
Active treatments are those exercises, stretches, and other activities that the physical therapist will have you perform in the office and assign you as homework to do a few times a day on your own. When physical therapists combine active and passive treatments, they often see the best results, whereas one type alone may result in partial recovery or slower progress.
You May Receive McKenzie Method Physical Therapy
One of the most popular physical therapy methods for lower back pain is the McKenzie Method. This type of physical therapy is a musculoskeletal-based system that focuses on certain types of repeated exercises, posture changes, and educational resources for people with lower back pain, though this method can treat other issues as well.
This is a primarily active form of physical therapy, although some manual techniques are employed as well. The McKenzie Method works like other physical therapy methods in that first the patient is assessed. They are then classified into one of three McKenzie Method categories which will tell the therapist which types of activities and education would be best for the patient.
The main focus of the McKenzie Method of physical therapy is self-care. You will be taught how to manage your lower back condition yourself at home so that you do not have repeat problems and so that pain is kept to a minimum no matter what the cause of your lower back pain.
Now that you know more about what you can expect from physical therapy for your lower back pain, you can go into your first session ready to get the process started. Visit a physical therapy clinic like Hands-On Physical Therapy to learn more.