Is Back Pain a Reason for Physical Therapy?

Low back pain usually starts suddenly and rarely lasts longer than six weeks. In most cases, these types of non-dangerous back pains will disappear by itself after a few days. Back pain is most common in the lower lumbar spine.

If the pain is limited to the lower back, without radiating into the leg, your doctor will diagnose lumbago or lumbar spine syndrome. If things are severe enough, he or she may schedule a consult with a physical therapist denver.

Back pain and physical therapy

Depending on the patient and their back pain, physical therapy Denver may be an option. When it comes to back pain, doctors diagnose issues accordingly:

Acute low back pain, if the symptoms last less than six weeks

Subacute low back pain, if the symptoms persist for more than six weeks

Chronic low back pain, if the symptoms persist for more than twelve weeks

Recurrent low back pain when the symptoms recur after a symptom-free period of at least six months

There are instances where there is no concrete cause for a person’s low back pain. This form of back pain is called non-specific low back pain. To distinguish a person’s non-specific pain from specific low back pain, a Denver physical therapist may order a series of tests.

Understanding the spine and discs

Considerations for pain development and treatment are easier to understand if you know a little bit about the area and how it works. The spine swings like a double “S” and consists of hard elements (the vertebrae), and soft, flexible elements (the intervertebral discs located between the vertebral bodies). The 24 mutually movable bones, known as the vertebrae, enclose and protect the spinal cord like a hinged tube. At the upper end of the spine sits the skull and, at the bottom, the pelvis.

The spinal cord itself consists of nerve tissue. The nerves of a person’s spinal cord branch into all areas of the body. The mutually mobile vertebrae are held together by numerous muscles and tight ligaments.

Many patients believe that the spine is very sensitive and nerves are trapped during movement exercises. That’s why people try to “spare” their backs when in pain. This concern is understandable but usually unjustified. The sophisticated interaction of bones, ligaments, and muscles ensures that the spine is mobile, but still extremely resilient.

The discs are like “shock absorbers” between the individual vertebral bodies. However, they do not touch the spinal cord. Ligaments, muscles, and intervertebral discs ensure that the spine is stable and flexible at the same time. For more details, schedule an appointment with a physical therapy clinic denver today.