Did you know that lower back pain is a close second to the common cold in a list of ailments driving Americans to the doctor’s office? Yes, that’s right. If you have pain in your lower back that you have been ignoring, you are not alone. In the past, heading in to see your doctor about lower back pain would often lead to costly imaging, opioids and even surgery. Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain, also known as painkillers. Continued use and abuse can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. That’s why many patients today are considering physical therapy in the treatment of their lower back pain as opposed to painkillers.
Recent guidelines have been put in place by the American College of Physicians to steer doctors away from writing scripts for painkillers, in favor of noninvasive treatments such as physical therapy. This is great news not just for physical therapists, but because the use of painkillers puts patients at a high risk of developing an addiction. With these guidelines in place, painkillers will be reserved as a last resort treatment option, and only in patients who have failed other interventions.
Not all lower back pain is created equal, which is why it is so beneficial to work with a physical therapist to relieve pain. Causes and symptoms vary from person to person. A physical therapist is able to put together treatment plans that are tailored specifically to their patient. A physical therapist begins with a patient evaluation to identify the factors contributing to a patient’s specific back program and will individualize the program based on the results and observations.
About 25% of Americans report incidences of lower back pain lasting at least one day in the past three months, according to Annals of Internal Medicine. If you are in that 25%, you know that living with pain can be a real pain, which is why our physical therapists are so passionate about helping their patients relieve pain and get back to living the life they love. If you are currently experiencing lower back pain, schedule a complimentary injury screening with one of our experienced physical therapists today!