Low Back Pain
Low back pain is the most common reason that individuals seek treatment from the medical system, with an estimated 88% of Americans experiencing low back pain in their life to the degree that it interferes with their day-to-day activities (Deyo & Tsui-Wu, 1987 and Cassidy & Carroll, 1998). Despite being a very common injury & illness, low back pain is very rarely caused by any underlying, sinister condition. In fact, only about 6% of cases can be related to a serious injury, like a fracture (5%) or a serious illness, like cancer (1% or less).
Most low back pain is simply caused by an increase of the demand on the muscles of the low back in a way that exceeds their current capacity. In general, a weak back tends to become a painful back. Over time, individuals who have not performed low back strengthening in a long time, or ever, lose the strength & resiliency of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the spine. As life’s demands continue to ask us to bend over, lift from the floor, and twist on a daily basis, these daily activities now exceed the capacity of these structures. The answer to us is simple: help you calm down your pain while also increasing the strength & capacity of your back muscles so that you leave physical therapy stronger than when you began treatment. The goal is not to recommend that you never use your back again, but rather ensure you are ready for life’s demands in a way that breaks you free of your low back pain once and for all. Far too often, pills, injections, images, and surgery are recommended first when it is well known that they are ineffective treatments for low back pain.
The current physician clinical practice guidelines (Oliveira et al., Spine, 2018) recommend the following to doctors in the treatment of low back pain:
Avoid performing unnecessary medical imaging of the spine who present with non-traumatic low back pain
Utilize manual therapy techniques such as spinal manipulation to reduce pain
Utilization of exercise therapy including low back strengthening
In addition to to helping you with lifestyle management & exercise, there are many treatments we can offer to reduce pain & discomfort while improving motion, such as:
- Spinal manipulation & mobilization (sometimes called an “adjustment”)
- Dry needling
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Myofascial decompression (cupping)
Do you want to learn more or get started with treatment?