Research has shown that at least 80 percent of people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetime. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it’s the number one cause of job-related disability and a leading factor to missed work days.
Back pain doesn’t discriminate – it affects men and women equally. It can develop due to a variety of factors, such as an accident, lifting something heavy, or a spine condition or other age-related issue. You’re more likely to experience back pain if you live a sedentary lifestyle.
While some back pain resolves on its own, some people experience chronic back pain that needs to be treated. Conservative, or non-surgical, options include physical therapy. Modalities, manual therapy, strengthening, stabilization and flexibility exercises will be customized for each patient and their needs.
One exercise that will help treat lower back pain is the strengthening of the core. When your core muscles are weak, other muscles are working overtime to compensate for the weakness. This can and will result in poor posture and body mechanics, which will exacerbate your pain or even lead to more lower back pain. This can be addressed during your initial physical therapy evaluation and hopefully be resolved during therapy, leaving you pain-free through a conservative approach.
Jamie Siple, P.T.A., L.M.T., is a physical therapy assistant in West Branch. She is passionate about educating her community, and has a special interest in helping her patients prevent lower back injuries.