Physical Therapy (Nonsurgical Treatment for Back Pain) – North Texas*

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About Physical Therapy

Patients suffering from back pain that have not been diagnosed with a spinal fracture or severe injury are often prescribed physical therapy for a period of weeks as a conservative, nonsurgical treatment option before other more aggressive treatments (such as back surgery) are considered. The primary goals of physical therapy are to decrease your back pain, increase your function, and to help you avoid future accidents or injuries. North Texas spine surgeon Dr. Kendall Carll has more than 15 years of experience treating back pain. By focusing on the least invasive surgical procedure necessary, Dr. Carll often provides life-changing pain relief without the need for surgery.

An impressive amount of research supports the idea that physical therapy and exercise can possibly eliminate low back pain. Furthermore, research shows that an ongoing exercise routine can help once injured patients to maintain and even improve function over time. Contact Spine Care of North Texas for more information about physical therapy.

What are the Benefits?

Physical therapy and exercise are considered an imperative part of treatment for most patients who seek help for back pain. This treatment can significantly shorten your recovery time following surgery or help you to avoid surgery altogether. A substantial amount of evidence supports the benefits of physical therapy. Some of this research is presented below:

  • The strength and stability provided by physical therapy can shorten a patient’s recovery time following spine surgery
  • Physical therapy and exercise improve a patients’ physical condition, thus improving their ability to recover from an injury
  • Abdominal strength, achieved through exercise and physical therapy, provides internal stabilization of the spine
  • Patients who undergo physical therapy build muscle around their spine, relieving some of the stress that is placed on the disc and joints

Therapy Techniques

The two techniques most commonly used to address back pain are passive physical therapy and active physical therapy. These two techniques utilize different combined methods to provide a comprehensive treatment.

Passive physical therapy – Passive modalities are physical therapy methods that are performed or used on the patient, such as heat application, ice packs, and electrical stimulation. Some of these modalities are:

  • Massage therapy – Massage therapy can increase the blood flow and warm the soft tissues, delivering more oxygen and nourishment to injured parts of the body
  • Hot/cold therapy – Heat and ice can be used in regulated time frames to draw blood into the tissues or increase the flow of oxygen to relax tight muscles, relieve pain, and increase flexibility
  • TENS units – Short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, a TENS unit delivers electrical stimulation to the back, overriding the pain signals. TENS units can be used in an office or at home.

Active physical therapy – Active physical therapy modalities are actions performed by the patient, focusing on specific exercises and stretching. For most low back pain treatments, active exercise is the focus of the physical therapy program. The use of active physical therapy modalities produces muscle contraction that will ultimately result in increased strength and tissue healing. Active physical therapy can also help prepare a patient for vigorous exercise.

What to Expect

Your physical therapist and Dr. Carll will work together to determine which course of physical therapy treatment will best address your pain and symptoms. At the beginning of your first visit with a physical therapist, you can expect to undergo a physical examination and evaluation, followed by a discussion about your medical history and the location and severity of your pain. The evaluation may include an observation of your walk (gait), how you get up from a lying down position (functional activities), and how you bend and lift (body mechanics). Treatment will likely begin at your first appointment. It is imperative to your healing, that you keep all scheduled appointments and maintain a positive outlook throughout your treatment.

Hopeful Healing

Spine Care of North Texas is supremely committed to helping each patient achieve optimal function and pain relief. By prioritizing nonsurgical treatment methods before attempting surgery, Dr. Carll can often help you attain a high quality of life without going under the knife. If you or a loved one are affected by back pain and are tired of suffering through each day, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our team as soon as possible. Let us help you take back your life and put back pain behind you.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.