Ever come home all tired from a long day of work? The kind of day where you just want to kick back and relax? Maybe go to bed early for the night? But you can’t relax due to your incessant back pain?
In the UK alone, around 4 in 5 adults suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. The causes of back pain can differ from person to person. Back pain can also have varying degrees of intensity and duration.
Physiotherapy has become the main method of lowering and preventing back pain. But what is physiotherapy? And how does it work for back pain? Let’s find out!
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a practice that aims to address injuries or illnesses that can limit one’s ability to move. The word “physiotherapy” is actually a portmanteau of “physical therapy”. Physiotherapists help people do normal everyday tasks without much pain or unease through physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy also aids in the rehabilitation of people, such as teaching people to walk after they have had surgery. Overall, physiotherapy allows a person to be able to move better while preventing injuries that can hinder movement.
There are two types of physiotherapy, passive physiotherapy and active physiotherapy. Passive physiotherapy is when physiotherapy is done on the patient. The most common form of passive physiotherapy is the application of a heat or ice pack to an area suffering from pain.
Active physiotherapy, on the other hand, is when physiotherapy is actively being performed by the patient with the aid of a physiotherapist. For back pain, active physiotherapy can involve stretching exercises to improve spine health. Active physiotherapy also includes altering the lifestyles of patients to maintain good health and prevent future problems.
Physiotherapy and Back Pain
Physiotherapy, whether passive or active, does wonders for back pain. The easiest form of physiotherapy for back pain is through heat and cold therapy. This is done by applying a heat or cold pack on the area where pain is felt for 10 – 15 minutes every two hours. This helps reduce inflammation and muscle spasms in certain areas and is usually most effective during the early stages of back pain.
Active physiotherapy is also needed in order to further reduce back pain. The most basic of active physiotherapy is by stretching. Certain muscles, such as the hamstring, have to be stretched daily to help lower and prevent back pain. By properly stretching muscles before physically taxing activities, less stress is exerted on those muscles, resulting in less strain overall.
In addition to stretching, regular exercise is another form of physiotherapy that aids in reducing back pain and improving health overall. Aerobic conditioning, such as walking and cycling, serves as a long-term solution to back pain.
Core muscle strengthening and dynamic lumbar stabilization also help strengthen the body, allowing for better back support. However, improper execution of such exercises may have negative results, so it is best to have the aid of a physiotherapist when learning these exercises.
In order to effectively lower or prevent back pain, someone should always aim to improve their lifestyle. Physical activities, such as exercising and stretching, are forms of physiotherapy that, when integrated into one’s daily activities, help in the long-term prevention of back pain.
Physiotherapy provides relief to back pain, but should also be done with the help of a professional physiotherapist.