One of the most common injuries afflicting the American population is low back pain. There is a high likelihood that most people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives, and once it occurs, the chances of recurrence also increase. Because of this, it is imperative we do everything possible to prevent the initial onset of low back pain.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to decrease your chance of experiencing back pain including regular exercise and especially aerobic exercise. The physiological effects of some light strengthening and increased blood flow that occur due to exercise benefit the body in many ways, such as improved tissue health. Incorporating regular corrective and preventative exercises can also address any dysfunction that puts you at risk for injury.

For example, I like to use the Selective Functional Movement Assessment to evaluate my clients. It involves observation of standard motions that all people can perform to determine if there is any pain or restriction of movement. By addressing these impairments, which can be present even in people who aren’t in pain, the normal stresses of the day can be evenly distributed throughout the body. Additionally, performing an ergonomic assessment in your work environment can be beneficial as well. For those with sedentary jobs in offices or where sitting for long periods is expected, correct posture and regularly changing positions can help prevent sitting aches.

However, if you do start experiencing back pain, there is a lot that physical therapy can do to help you. The earlier you address your problems, the better. There is a significant amount of research that shows if you begin physical therapy within just a couple weeks after your back pain begins, you will see significant improvement rapidly. Depending on your symptoms, you may benefit from manipulation, core stabilization, repeated motions, or traction. At Foothills, our therapists perform an initial examination, which will help to determine which category you fall into. Many of our therapists also utilize functional dry needling, a new technique which has proven to yield excellent results for some individuals in addressing their dysfunction.

Hopefully you found this information useful, and you won’t ever have to experience back pain in your life. However, many people have underlying dysfunctions they may be unaware of but that could cause problems in the future. Physical therapy can be utilized for both rehabilitation and preventative purposes to address a variety of issues. If you have questions about back pain or other injuries in general, contact your local Foothills Sports Medicine clinic today!