A sedentary lifestyle, lack of regular physical activity, overweight, poor posture, and stress can result in one of the most common ailments we complain about – back pain. If it is not related to degenerative disease or trauma, it may be treatable. Everything you need is a qualified physical therapist knowledgeable in advanced therapeutic techniques and… determination.

Many patients suffering from chronic back pain consider undergoing surgery. According to many surgeons, it is a quick and easy procedure, and that is how they describe it to patients. However, the reality is quite different. Spine surgery is a serious procedure, and despite advances in technology, it still carries the risk of many postoperative complications. Some of the most common include nerve or muscle damage, blood clots, excessive bleeding, infections, or chronic postoperative pain. Moreover, such serious surgeries often require taking prescription painkillers (opioids) for a prolonged time which can lead to addiction.

Also, we should keep in mind that back problems are among the most commonly reported ailments to doctors. Nearly 65 million Americans complain of temporary back pain, while 16 million experience chronic pain. The medical business in the U.S. generates $100 billion in revenue annually, and costly surgeries make up a large portion of that amount. Sometimes patients are persuaded to have surgery because of the profit generated rather than the health benefits they may receive from it. According to the North American Spine Society, only the following criteria qualify for spinal surgery: incontinence, bowel disorders, loss of unconditional reflexes, or muscle atrophy. Otherwise, we should first reach for less invasive treatment methods. Therefore, before you undergo this complicated procedure, do not hesitate to ask for a second opinion to confirm that surgery is necessary and there is no other effective treatment available. 

Back pain therapy

If your back pain is not the result of an accident or injury, the first thing you should consider is home remedies such as rest, warm and cold compresses, and low-intensity stretching exercises. However, if the pain persists for more than two weeks, you should consult your doctor or a physical therapist who specializes in treating spine disorders. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you will feel the effects. Unfortunately, ignoring the pain and putting off treatment will only worsen the issue, which can become more difficult to treat over time.

The manual therapy specialists at our clinic are experts in treating back pain. No prior x-ray or MRI is necessary to schedule an appointment. Based on your history and physical exam, an experienced therapist can determine the causes of your problem and develop the most suitable treatment plan. 

The most effective therapy method, used at PD Rehab clinic is the advanced manual technique – Strain Counterstrain. It helps reduce pain, swelling, and muscle spasms. Many patients report relief from chronic back pain after one or two sessions – which proves the enormous potential and effectiveness of this method, which goes far beyond a temporary improvement in quality of life. With this painless, non-invasive manual therapy technique, we can help patients with chronic pain even when doctors recommend surgery.

Manual therapy is often supported by different modalities, such as electrical stimulation calming the nerves, and blocking the transmission of pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. In some cases, cold laser therapy, designed to stimulate blood flow and cell metabolism, and the application of cold or warm compresses can bring good results. Therapeutic exercises are also a vital part of treatment to strengthen muscles and develop proper posture to prevent the recurrence of pain.

Persistence – the key to success

For successful rehabilitation, patients need to complete the entire course of treatment recommended by their therapist. Sometimes our patients drop out of treatment as soon as they feel the pain has decreased. Unfortunately, they usually return to the clinic after a few weeks or months, complaining of an aggravated problem. We should remember that working with the therapist is a process. In addition to eliminating pain and restoring mobility, patients will learn the correct posture and how to maintain it in everyday life to prevent the problem from recurring. Successful therapy means that relief becomes noticeable not only during treatment but also afterward. 

Back pain that has not been caused by a major accident passes in 95% of cases within one to two months with the appropriate physical therapy. The likelihood of eliminating pain with Strain Counterstrain manual therapy and other rehabilitation treatments is so high that it makes sense to go to a physical therapy specialist for help. There is always enough time for surgery.