What are Physical Therapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain?
Physical therapy exercises for lower back pain (PELB) consists of various types of treatment methods which aim to restore normal function in your body. These include physical therapies such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, osteopathy and other forms of medical treatments.
The purpose of physical therapy is to restore or correct any abnormalities in the structure and functions of your body. The main goal of physical therapy is to prevent further damage caused by injury or disease.
You may have heard that physical therapists are doctors with special training in medicine, but they do not necessarily possess all the necessary skills to treat specific diseases. For example, many physical therapists specialize in treating musculoskeletal disorders like arthritis, back pain, and herniated disks. Other physical therapists focus on treating conditions like depression and anxiety.
Many different types of physical therapy exist. Some are more focused on restoring muscle strength while others address the rehabilitation of joints and tendons.
Most physical therapy programs involve several sessions over time to build up strength and flexibility in muscles, ligaments, bones and soft tissues.
Exercises typically used in physical therapy include:
Range of motion exercises
Joint mobilization and manipulation
Heat and cold therapies
Moist heat therapy, electrotherapy, ultrasound, traction and massage can also be used.
However, not all physical therapy exercises are good for you. Your doctor or physical therapist should be able to choose the appropriate treatment for your condition.
In fact, they can even make a specific exercise prescription just for you based on your condition.
Here are some of the most common types of physical therapy exercises:
Range of motion or flexibility exercises
These are designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the injured or affected area. These exercises are also used to relieve pain and reduce swelling around the joints and muscles.
These are designed to improve your muscular strength around the affected or injured area. It helps you move normally again after an injury or surgery.
An example is lifting weights under supervision of a physical therapist.
Balance and coordination exercises
These are designed to improve your muscular and neural control around the affected or injured area. An example is standing on a balance board.
Occupational or functional activities
These are used to improve your ability to do your normal daily activities or any other activities you may be interested in pursuing. An example is practicing finding your way around with a blindfold.
Who should you contact for physical therapy exercises for lower back pain?
Sources & references used in this article:
Meta-analysis: exercise therapy for nonspecific low back pain by JA Hayden, MW Van Tulder… – Annals of internal …, 2005 – acpjournals.org
Treatment of chronic lower back pain with lumbar extension and whole-body vibration exercise: a randomized controlled trial by J Rittweger, K Just, K Kautzsch, P Reeg, D Felsenberg – Spine, 2002 – journals.lww.com
Exercise therapy for low‐back pain by MW van Tulder, A Malmivaara… – Cochrane Database …, 2000 – cochranelibrary.com
Systematic review: strategies for using exercise therapy to improve outcomes in chronic low back pain by JA Hayden, MW Van Tulder… – Annals of internal …, 2005 – acpjournals.org
Exercise therapy for chronic nonspecific low-back pain by M Van Middelkoop, SM Rubinstein… – Best practice & research …, 2010 – Elsevier
Exercise therapy for treatment of non‐specific low back pain by J Hayden, MW Van Tulder… – … of systematic reviews, 2005 – cochranelibrary.com
Efficiency and costs of medical exercise therapy, conventional physiotherapy, and self-exercise in patients with chronic low back pain: A pragmatic, randomized, single … by TA Torstensen, AE Ljunggren, HD Meen, E Odland… – Spine, 1998 – journals.lww.com
Manual therapy and exercise therapy in patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial with 1-year follow-up by OF Aure, JH Nilsen, O Vasseljen – Spine, 2003 – cdn.journals.lww.com