6 Way Physical Therapy Can Help Your Back Pain

Nothing reminds you of your age like an achy back. All of a sudden, even restful activities, such as sleeping or hanging out on your couch can feel uncomfortable. You’ve tried everything: more pillows, a new mattress, switching sleeping positions. So what do you do if, despite all these modifications, your back is still in pain?

The first thing to recognize is that you’re not alone. Back pain is among one of the most common reasons why people seek help from a doctor.

Back pain and Physical Therapy

Before you consider physical therapy, think about what may be causing back pain. Sometimes the root cause is something minor, such as sitting with bad posture or a sudden movement that may have caused a sprain. Typically, when this happens, the pain will subside on its own after a couple of days, through conservative treatment such as heat therapy, rest, and over-the-counter medication.

However, if the pain is chronic or gets worse, it could signify a more serious health condition, such as arthritis, kidney infections, a herniated disc, bowel issues, or even cancer.

If your symptoms don’t improve within a few days, seek medical help. If your doctor recommends physical therapy, make sure to wear comfortable clothes for that first appointment, since you’ll have to do a lot of moving around. This is because the therapist will want to measure your posture, range of motion, and the varying strength of your different muscles before devising a physical therapy plan.

What to expect from physical therapy

A physical therapist is a trained professional that will assess your back ailment and suggest specific types of exercises to help you heal. Some of these include:

6 Benefits of Physical Therapy

  1. Personalized Care. One of the main benefits of seeking help from physical therapy is that he or she will not perform a one-size-fits-all approach. They will take into account your body type, age, lifestyle (whether you’re typically a sedentary person or an athlete), existing health conditions, and how you respond to different types of movement.
  2. Decreased pain. A physical therapy will look at your gait (the way you move when you walk/run), as well as how you get up from a sitting and laying down position. This allows them to suggest exercises that will diminish the pain that’s directly caused by your movements. The therapist may also use electrical stimulation to restore function.
  3. Restored mobility. Physical therapists not only treat pain but also look for the root cause of discomfort. For example, if your lower back is stiff, the therapist will focus on easing that stiffness. If your back muscles are weak, the therapist may recommend strengthening exercises that will aid in recovering your full range of motion.
  4. May eliminate the need for surgery. Surgery should only ever be considered as a last resort, and physical therapy is one of the most proactive ways to attempt to resolve back pain conservatively.
  5. Reduces the risk of further injury. If you are required to do repetitive movements due to your job duties or athletic activity, your physical therapy will take into account such movements and suggest recovery stretches to avoid future back injuries.
  6. Reduces the risk of falls. If you have poor posture or degenerative disease that increases the likelihood of falling, a physical therapist will design a plan to improve your balance, as well as improve coordination.


To be best prepared, make a full list of possible factors that may be contributing to your pain, including job duties, sports, stressful life events, any recent injuries, falls, or accidents, as well as family history. Your physical therapist will work with you to figure out a program that will best work for you.

If you’re experiencing back pain, let us help you.

At Gateway Rehab and Wellness Center, we take pride in helping patients through safe and natural therapies. We have an entire team of physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and other healthcare professionals who are ready to assist you.

Call us at (949) 454-8811 to schedule an appointment with a Gateway Rehab and Wellness Center provider, or learn more about our practice here.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Should I Tell My Physical Therapist?

If you have never been to a physical therapist before you may have some questions about your care and expectations. Here are some general questions and points about physical therapy you may want to talk about during your initial evaluation.

How Exactly Does A Chiropractor Adjust Your Spine?

If you’ve ever had an adjustment from a chiropractor to ease aches and pains and address injury, you likely see the validity of care that you’ve received. Chiropractic care is a form of skeletal adjustment that helps to restore joint mobility and function

It's Not "Just" Sciatic

Sciatic pain is caused when pressure is put on the sciatic nerve. This happens when a herniated disc is pressing on the nerve or from spinal stenosis which is the narrowing of the spinal canal. It typically effects only one side of the body.

Improve Health With These 5 Stretching Benefits

Do your joints and muscles frequently feel stiff and achy, especially after a long day at work or a tough workout? Are you exercising regularly but not seeing the improvements you want? If you’re not regularly stretching, this could explain why!