What can I Expect from Back Physiotherapy?
During back physiotherapy, you can expect a range of different strengthening and flexibility exercises. A therapist may also recommend changes to posture and daily activities. These are important for long-term relief from pain and preventing the condition from recurring. Short-term relief is sometimes achieved through spinal manipulation which helps to realign the spine and massage which can be effective at relaxing tight muscles. Back physiotherapy often involves ice or heat packs, although this depends on the type of injury.
Back physiotherapy techniques vary depending on the cause of the pain and how severe it is. You can be almost certain, however, that stretches and strengthening exercises will be involved. A lot of back pain is the result of tight muscles causing other areas to work too hard or weak muscles which can’t function as they should. If these issues are resolved, pain levels may reduce. Exercises for strength and flexibility are also important for preventing the condition from recurring.
One of the most common causes of back pain is poor posture; as a result, a therapist may provide advice on sitting and standing positions. Back physiotherapy is about preventing the symptoms from getting worse as well as addressing pain levels; correcting structural problems is a big part of this regimen. In some cases, spinal manipulation or mobilization may be required; these involve large forces being applied to areas of the back to improve alignment. These techniques often only provide short-term relief from pain, however.
Along with postural advice, a physiotherapist may recommend lifestyle changes. If there is a particular exercise activity that aggravates your pain, for example, the therapist could advise that you cross train with a different activity for a period of time. Those who sit at a computer all day often develop back pain, so changing work habits might also be required. In some situations, you might be advised to increase your activity levels rather than reduce them, although this entirely depends on the cause of the pain.
A number of other techniques are commonly used during back physiotherapy. Massage is often employed as it is very effective at relaxing muscles. This can reduce pressure on the area that is the source of the pain. It’s important that back massage is only performed by a trained professional, however, because it can cause more problems if not done correctly. Ice packs are sometimes applied to the skin to reduce swelling, while heat packs can be effective at relaxing tight muscles.
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