If you have recurring pain in your back, whether due to injury, degeneration, or an accident, take note of a new study that gives a big "thumbs up" to customized physical therapy for back pain sufferers. It turns out that concentrated, tailor-made physical therapy is very effective in reducing the pain and physical limitations patients suffer due to back problems.
The high cost of back pain.
Lost productivity due to back pain among workers 40 to 65 is estimated to cost employers over $7 billion per year. This affects businesses and profits, but the costs are also paid by family members, friends, and pets who are justifiably neglected when back pain strikes.
Having chronic back pain changes how much money you're able to earn; your ability to seek other employment; and how many activities you can enjoy with your loved ones. You may find temporary relief through pain medication, or you may try to work through your pain, but these solutions have their own limitations and pitfalls.
Exercise advice alone just doesn't cut it.
To test the effectiveness of physical therapy work combined with advice sessions, researchers in Australia chose 300 back pain patients who had pain for at least 6 weeks but no longer than 6 months. Half of the group attended the advice sessions only, where they learned about the reasons for their pain and how to manage it.
The other half of study participants received 10 customized physical therapy sessions as well as the advice sessions. This group showed reductions in both pain and in their physical limitations because of back pain. Most patients who received only the counseling sessions did eventually get well, but this new research highlights the benefits of having one-on-one contact with health care providers to monitor and guide back pain patients into earlier recovery.
Target the right stuff.
It's important to note that this research studied back pain sufferers with 5 specific injuries.Their physical therapy treatments involved targeting specific muscles or overcoming specific barriers due to disc herniation or another spinal injury. Your own physical therapy treatments will address your specific restrictions and discomfort.
Physical therapists have many new tools, including anti-gravity treadmills and physical therapy games, to make treatment interesting and fun. They also offer the human touch to note where you're hurting, and use visual observation of your exercise techniques to help you heal and strengthen yourself at home the correct way.
If you've been suffering from back pain for any reason, it's time to visit a physical therapy provider (such as Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital) and explore the ways that customized physical therapy treatment and exercise can ease your burden and help you live a fuller life.