You Should See a Physiotherapist for Low Back Pain
We’ve all known someone, or have ourselves, experienced low back pain. In fact, most of us will experience at least one episode of low back pain in our lives.
This is not meant to be alarming, on the contrary, we believe that it views low back pain as a part of life at some point. Even with this understand though it doesn’t change the fact that low back pain…sucks.
What do you do about it?
What we know through research and our experience as physical therapists is that for the majority of people, low back pain will resolve itself! That’s great news!
What we also understand is that low back pain can be frightening and the information out there can be even more so. In this case seeing a physiotherapist or another trust healthcare professional may be beneficial.
So whether you have low back pain from a sneeze, throwing out the garbage, or changing the water cooler it is important to know that a physiotherapist can help. How? Physiotherapists do this in three ways.
- We educate and help you learn about what is going on.
- We provide hands-on manual therapy which can span from hands-on assessment to manipulations and everything in between.
- We get you moving again through various exercise and activities that get you back to doing exactly what the low back pain was keeping you from doing in the first place.
That all sounds nice and dandy, right? If you currently have low back pain you may be thinking: “How do I really know it isn’t something more serious?”
An assessment by a physiotherapist may be the best way to address this question specifically. In our assessment we will look for more “serious” signs and symptoms. These can range from symptoms in both legs, numbness and tingling, or sudden onset of weakness.
These by themselves may not mean there is something serious going on but when evaluated together and our ability to critically reason through everything you are telling and showing us we can get a good idea of what the next step should be.
You also may be thinking: “What about imaging? Wouldn’t it help to actually see if anything is wrong?”
Yes and no. If we deem that it may be something more serious, imaging can potentially be helpful as well as communication from us to your primary care provider.
However, in general, we know now that even if imaging shows a ruptured disc or other structural issues, that it might not mean you have pain at all. Multiple studies have no looked at people receiving imaging that have no low back pain at all and the imaging shows they too have ruptured discs or other structural issues.
What we do know is that low back pain is influenced by a lot of factors and variables. Some of those have to do with your past experience(s) with pain and how you feel about it.
By educating, assessing, and getting you moving again we do know that we can help. Then you can be confident and get back to what you want to do and be prepared for any similar event in the future.