What can physical therapy do for my lower back pain?

Researchers found that people who were initially prescribed advanced imaging, such as MRIs, for management of low back pain ultimately paid more and were more likely to have surgery or injections, or to visit an emergency room, compared to those who were sent first to physical therapists.

Based on a thorough examination, physical therapists can use any of the following treatment options:

  • Manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, to improve the mobility of joints and soft tissues
  • Specific strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Education to teach patients how to take better care of their back
  • Training for proper lifting, bending, and sitting; for doing chores both at work and in the home; and for proper sleeping positions
  • Assistance in creating a safe and effective physical activity program to improve overall health
  • Ice/heat treatments or electrical stimulation to help relieve pain.

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