Back pain is one of the most common conditions that physical therapists treat. It can occur from a variety of reasons, and impact each person differently, but one thing is for sure – no one wants it. If left untreated, back pain can get in the way of daily activities such as work, exercising, and spending time with family and friends. How much do you know about back pain? Put your knowledge to the test with the following quiz!
Low back pain is a common disorder that affects 84% of adults at some point in their lives. The good news about this is that most back pain gets better without needing imaging (Xrays, MRIs). In most cases, imaging is an unnecessary intervention, particularly in the first six weeks, that costs a significant amount of money to patients. One study found no long-term difference between patients who underwent surgery and those who only did conservative management (therapy) for sciatica. Also, it was found that low back fusion surgery was not more effective than conservative management (therapy) when treating chronic low back pain in patients with lumbar spine pathologies and leads to greater long-term complications such as instability above and below the level of fusion.
Many people throughout their lives have encountered back pain. In fact, as many as two-thirds of adults will be affected by back pain at some point in their lives. Anyone that has had to deal with back pain knows how difficult it can be. However, back pain comes with difficulty in determining what treatment options are best, what will happen if I can’t work, and what can I do to make sure this back pain doesn’t happen again.
The Athletico blog has many resources available to its readers about mitigating and finding relief for back pain. I intend to provide a few more ways to help manage back pain in this blog. This blog will give you a framework to help manage your symptoms and get some form of relief to allow you to live your life with less pain and give you a sense of self-efficacy to help manage your back pain symptoms.
At the height of the pandemic, physical and occupational therapists started seeing a record number of repetitive strain injuries resulting from working from home. Many were sent home to continue working but were not prepared to do so successfully.
Low back pain is one of the most common and debilitating diagnoses that physical therapy can help improve. It is estimated that 60-70% of people throughout the world will suffer from low back pain at some point during their life. In the United States, it is estimated that 149 billion work days are lost every year from low back pain, costing workers and companies between $100-200 billion dollars each year. Lower back pain or pain in the lumbar spine can be from occupational postures such as sedentary desk work that may lead to poor posture, heavy labor job demands, and being overweight. Evidence shows that core strengthening through a physical therapy program will help alleviate pain.
Many people experience back pain and, as you may know, symptoms can vary. Sometimes back pain is sharp and located off to one side. Pain can also be isolated to the low back or travel into the buttock or down the leg. Oftentimes, pain occurs with certain positions or movements. Although the source of back pain can be located in the lumbar spine, it can also be related to a joint where the spine meets the pelvis, called the sacroiliac joint.
Upper cross syndrome and lower cross syndrome are terms heard within the world of medicine that, on the surface, sound a little intimidating. However, each term simply refers to muscle weakness and tightness in certain areas of the body that may be contributing to pain and/or reduced functional level. Each “syndrome” entails two predominant areas of muscle tightness and two predominant areas of muscle weakness. Often times, these limitations occur as a result of impaired posture and can lead to pain. Once identified, both upper cross and lower cross syndromes can be effectively treated and managed with physical therapy care.