Skip to main content
All Posts By

Maggie Scheessele

Physical Therapy For The Shoulder

Physical Therapy for Rotator Cuff Injuries

By Rotator Cuff

What is the Rotator Cuff?

Rotator cuff injuries are the most common types of shoulder injuries. 

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that connect your shoulder blade (scapula) to your arm (humerus) and help stabilize the shoulder joint. These muscles work together to help you lift your arm overhead and rotate your arm in and out. The four muscles are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. 

There are different types of injuries to the rotator cuff. The less serious and more common injuries are called shoulder impingement and rotator cuff tendinitis. Shoulder bursitis is a condition that does not directly affect the rotator cuff tendons, but it can occur in conjunction with impingement and tendinitis. The more serious injury is a rotator cuff tear. 

Types of Rotator Cuff Injuries

Shoulder Impingement

Impingement in the simplest terms means something is being “pinched”. This could be a rotator cuff tendon, shoulder ligament, or your bursa. All of these structures go under a bone called the acromion which is a part of your shoulder blade (scapula). When you move your arm in certain positions, the items underneath the acromion can become pinched or compressed, causing an increase in pain and inflammation. 

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

When the rotator cuff tendons are being compressed, they become inflamed and irritated. Since they are surrounded by bone, when they swell, this increases the pressure inside your shoulder joint. The goal for rotator cuff tendinitis is to decrease the inflammation and allow the tendons to heal. 

Shoulder Bursitis

Bursas are small fluid-filled sacs in multiple areas of the body that help reduce friction. Your shoulder bursa is located in the space between your rotator cuff tendons and the acromion. When you lift your arm in certain positions, this space becomes narrowed, and the bursa can become inflamed and begin to swell. 

Rotator Cuff Tear

When shoulder impingement and/or tendinitis goes untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition called a rotator cuff tear. This is due to the tendon(s) being irritated and getting less blood flow over time, potentially causing the tendon(s) to develop small tears or holes. There are different types of rotator cuff tears, depending on how severe the injury is and how many tendons are involved. 

1. Partial Rotator Cuff Tear

This type of injury means that only part of the tendon is torn. This typically involves the supraspinatus muscle, which is located on top of the shoulder blade. Repetitive arm motions over time can cause fraying of the tendon, which leads to pain in certain motions. It is possible to heal a partial tendon tear without needing surgery. However, it is important to seek medical help to prevent these types of injuries from progressing to a full thickness tear.

2. Full Thickness Rotator Cuff Tear

Full thickness tears mean that the tendon is completely torn in half. This can involve only one tendon (more common) or multiple tendons (less common, more severe). This type of injury requires medical intervention including cortisone injections, physical therapy, and potentially surgery. They can be diagnosed through an MRI.

What Causes Rotator Cuff Injuries?

There are multiple causes of rotator cuff injuries.

The most common cause is overuse. Jobs that involve more repetitive arm motion such as cleaning, construction work, painting, or lifting heavy objects put increased strain on the rotator cuff. Certain sports such as golf, tennis, baseball, weightlifting, and swimming can also place stress on these shoulder muscles. However, general wear and tear over the years can also cause the tendons to break down and potentially tear. Tendons start to lose their elasticity as they age, so it is easier for older adults to injure their rotator cuff tendons than someone in their twenties.

In addition to overuse conditions, here are other common causes of rotator cuff injuries:

Common Causes:

  • Repetitive overhead movements
  • Weakness in rotator cuff muscles
  • Lack of blood supply
  •  An injury such as a fall
  •  Poor posture
  • Thickening of the bursa or ligaments  
  •  Osteoarthritis and/or bone spurs in shoulder joint
  • Anatomy differences in the shape of the acromion, which can decrease the space underneath the acromion (subacromial space)

Signs and Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries

Shoulder Impingement

Pain is typically located in the front of the shoulder and extends to the side of your arm. Patients also can report pain in the back of the shoulder.  

SYMPTOMS: 

-Pain in front of shoulder

-Weakness

-Limited shoulder mobility

 

Typically pain is reproduced with certain arm movements including reaching behind your back, extending your arm overhead, and moving your arm out to the side. You most likely will also experience some weakness in your shoulder muscles if trying to lift an object in these positions. Throwing a baseball and cleaning windows is often challenging and painful. Most patients also report pain and difficulty sleeping on the side of the painful shoulder. 

Rotator Cuff Tear

Pain is more severe in a rotator cuff tear, and the pain may be present at rest and not only with certain movements. Typically more significant weakness is noted with a rotator cuff tear, and it may be difficult to raise your arm. The type of pain present in a rotator cuff tear also may depend on if the tear is acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). 

  1. Acute Rotator Cuff Tear: 
    1. A specific quick arm movement or injury such as a fall caused the rotator cuff tendons to tear
    2. Can cause extreme sharp or immediate pain
    3. Pain can be present at rest 
    4. Significant loss of arm strength 
  2. Chronic Rotator Cuff Tear:
    1. May not have been caused by a specific injury 
    2. Typically occurs over time, starts as shoulder impingement until it progresses to a tear in the tendon
    3. Starts as mild pain and then may become more widespread and constant

Physical Therapy for Rotator Cuff Injuries

In the majority of cases, shoulder impingement and partial rotator cuff tears can be successfully treated conservatively through Physical Therapy. Complete rotator cuff tears can also be treated through PT to help reduce your pain and improve your range of motion and strength. 

During your first session, your PT will ask you multiple questions so he/she can figure out what is the underlying issue of your pain. These questions could include:

  •     What arm movements cause your pain?
  •     Is your pain worse in the morning or at night?
  •     Is your pain always present or is it caused by a single movement?
  •     When did your shoulder symptoms begin?
  •     What activities are you unable to perform due to your shoulder pain?

The initial goal of PT is figuring out what is the source of your shoulder pain, whether it be rotator cuff related or another type of shoulder injury. This will help create a treatment plan that was designed specifically for you. Typical PT sessions will include:

  • Pain Management: Your PT will help determine which movements cause your pain and help you avoid them in the beginning of treatment to decrease your symptoms. 
  • Range of Motion and Stretching Exercises: Often your shoulder motion becomes limited due to pain. Your PT will prescribe you stretches for your shoulder to help regain your mobility to help you reach up and out to the side without pain. 
  • Strengthening Exercises: The rotator cuff muscles are typically weakened which makes it challenging to perform your daily activities. Your PT will give you strengthening exercises for your rotator cuff and postural muscles to reduce the strain in your shoulder. 
  • Manual Therapy: Hands-on treatment also assists in loosening your tight shoulder muscles and improving the stiffness in your shoulder joint. Dry needling is also an effective approach for relieving low back pain!

You will receive a home exercise program that was designed specifically for you, and your PT will regularly check in with your exercises to make sure they are still beneficial for you. After you graduate from PT, these exercises will be your tool to help prevent future episodes of shoulder pain.

Conclusion

Injuries to the rotator cuff are extremely common, and our physical therapists are specifically trained to help relieve your symptoms. Regardless if you have had shoulder pain for years or just started experiencing shoulder pain recently, we can assist in alleviating your pain! Click here or fill out the form below to schedule an appointment!

Physical Therapy For The Knee

Physical Therapy for Knee Pain

By Knee

Do you have knee pain?

The knee plays a large role in your everyday life. It helps you walk, stand, run, jump, navigate stairs, and sit down and stand up from a chair. The knee joint must take the primary load of your body weight, so it is no wonder why it is commonly injured! 

The knee can be painful in all different age groups, and there are multiple causes of knee pain. There can be a specific injury that caused the knee to become painful, or the pain can come on suddenly without any known cause.

What Causes Knee Pain?

There are various causes of knee pain, but to simplify things, we can divide the causes into three main types: sudden/traumatic injuries, overuse injuries, or underlying conditions.

Traumatic Injuries

  • Typically occur in younger population (ages 15-40)
  • Acute injury (pain begins immediately)
  • Commonly see increased swelling and inflammation
  • Pain is linked to a specific event:
    • Fall
    • Sudden twisting motion or a sharp turn
    • Blow to the knee
    • Car accident
    • Sports injury (foot is planted and knee twists)

Examples of Traumatic Injuries:

  • Ligament Injuries (tear or sprain)
    • ACL Injury
  • Tendon Injuries
    • Patellar Tendonitis, Quadriceps Tendon Tear
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Muscle Strain
    • Hamstring Strain, Calf Strain, Quadriceps Strain
  • Fracture
    • Patellar (kneecap) fracture, Tibial Plateau fracture (top of shin bone)

Overuse Injuries

  • Can occur in any age group, but most common in ages 25-50
  • Typically there is no specific injury that causes knee pain
  • Pain can either start out gradually and then get worse over time or can become extremely painful all of a sudden
  • Due to repetitive stress due to poor body mechanics, muscle imbalances, and/or tight muscles

Examples of Overuse Injuries:

  • Patellar Tendinitis (Jumper’s Knee)
  • Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral pain)
  • IT Band Syndrome

Poor body mechanics:

The knee also can become painful due to issues at the hip or ankle joints. If there is hip weakness, this can change the alignment of the hip which can then cause excess stress at the knee joint. The same thing can occur at the ankle joint, especially when someone over-pronates. We often see that the ankle or hip is the culprit of the dysfunction, but the knee is the victim of the pain!

Underlying Conditions 

  • Common in older population (age 55 and up)
  • “General wear and tear”
  • Pain can occur suddenly or gradually over time

Examples of Underlying Conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Pseudogout

Signs and Symptoms of Knee Pain

Symptoms for knee pain can depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Some common symptoms that patients often report are:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling 
  • Clicking or popping
  • Catching sensation
  • Knee giving out or buckling

The location of your pain can also give clues to what is causing your pain. 

ACL Tear

ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and this ligament connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). This ligament helps stabilize the knee by preventing the shinbone from sliding forward. Damage to this ligament can occur when someone plants their foot and pivots, quickly changes directions while running, or landing from a jump with a hyper-extended knee. 

Injuries to the ACL often occur in the athletic population, specifically in sports such as soccer, tennis, basketball, and skiing. Common symptoms of an ACL tear include hearing a pop in the knee followed by intense pain and swelling. Patients also report a feeling of instability in the knee. 

Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a rubbery piece of cartilage that cushions the knee joint and acts as a shock absorber. You have a medial meniscus in the inside of your knee and a lateral meniscus in the outside of your knee. 

The meniscus can frequently become injured and tear due to twisting movements. This can occur in the younger population during sports injuries, and often one of the cruciate ligaments is also torn. Meniscus tears can also occur in the middle aged population. As you age, your cartilage begins to thin down, making it easier to tear the meniscus with less intense activity. 

Common symptoms include hearing a pop, catching, locking, swelling in the knee, stiffness, and decreased ability to straighten your knee. 

Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap is extremely common. The patellofemoral joint is the joint where your kneecap (patella) meets your thigh bone (femur). There are various causes to pain on and around the patella including:

  • Structural issue in the joints 
  • Having knock-knees or bow-legged
  • Tightness in the thigh and calf muscles
  • Weakness in the hip and/or ankle muscles
  • Muscle imbalances causing the kneecap to become stiff
  • Overuse or excessive training

Symptoms may include pain in the kneecap while you are walking, running, jumping, going up or down stairs, squatting, or kneeling. Pain can also occur if you sit for a while and then stand up. Patients can also report clicking, grinding, or instability in the knee joint.

Muscle Strain or Injury

Muscles surrounding the knee such as the quadriceps, calf, and hamstrings muscle can become injured and cause pain in the knee. Injuries to the muscles can occur suddenly due to a specific injury or gradually over time. 

An acute injury to a muscle can occur if you suddenly trip, fall, or twist your knee. You can also injure your muscles if you are fatigued and overstretch your muscle, often during a sporting event. Often you have heard someone say they “pulled a muscle”, and this refers to a muscle strain. Muscle strains often result in localized swelling, pain when attempting to stretch the muscle, and muscle spasms.

Muscle injuries can also occur over time and are not linked to a specific injury. If you recently started a new type of exercise or workout routine, the muscles in your thigh and lower leg can become overworked and develop trigger points (knots). Trigger points cause a muscle to become weakened and can refer pain to the knee. 

Osteoarthritis

You have cartilage at the end of your thigh bone (femur) and at the end of your shin bone (tibia). Cartilage acts as a cushion for your joints, but as you age, cartilage begins to break down and thin out. As it wears away, the joint space narrows and becomes more “bone on bone” which causes your knee to feel stiff and very painful. 

There are various stages of osteoarthritis (OA) in the knee, and most people often do not realize that they have OA in the early stages. But as the condition progresses, the inflammation increases and bone spurs (osteophytes) can also occur. 

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are:

  • Gradual onset of knee pain which becomes worse over time
  • Knee stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after prolonged sitting
  • Loss of knee range of motion
  • Increased swelling or enlargement of the joint
  • Pain standing up from a chair

Tips for Managing Your Knee Pain

Physical Therapy for Knee Pain

In the majority of cases, knee pain can be successfully treated through Physical Therapy. Even if you were told by your doctor that you were a candidate for knee surgery, give PT a try first! Meniscal tears, ligament tears, and osteoarthritis can be treated through PT to help reduce your pain and improve your range of motion and strength. 

During your first session, your PT will ask you multiple questions so he/she can figure out what is the underlying issue of your pain. These questions could include:

  •     What leg movements cause your pain?
  •     How did your knee symptoms begin?
  •     Did you injure your knee or did the symptoms begin gradually?
  •     Did you start any new workout routines such as running or weight lifting?
  •     What activities are you unable to perform due to your knee pain?

The initial goal of PT is figuring out what is the source of your knee pain, whether it be a muscle strain, ligament damage, meniscus tear, osteoarthritis or another type of knee injury. This will help create a treatment plan that was designed specifically for you. Typical PT sessions will include:

  • Pain Management: Your PT will help determine which movements cause your pain and help you avoid them in the beginning of treatment to decrease your symptoms. 
  • Range of Motion and Stretching Exercises: Often your knee motion becomes limited due to pain. Your PT will prescribe you stretches for the muscles around your knee to help regain your mobility and allow you to move your knee with less pain. 
  • Strengthening Exercises: The quadriceps and hamstring muscles are typically weakened which makes it challenging to perform your daily activities such as walking, navigating stairs, and standing up from a chair. Your PT will give you strengthening exercises for your weakened muscles in the thigh and hip to reduce the strain in your knee. 
  • Manual Therapy: Hands-on treatment also assists in loosening your tight knee muscles and improving the stiffness in your knee joint. Dry needling is also an effective approach for relieving knee pain!

You will receive a home exercise program that was designed specifically for you, and your PT will regularly check in with your exercises to make sure they are still beneficial for you. After you graduate from PT, these exercises will be your tool to help prevent future episodes of knee pain.

Conclusion

Knee pain is very common, and our physical therapists are specifically trained to help relieve your symptoms. Regardless if you have had knee pain for years or just started experiencing knee pain recently, we can assist in alleviating your pain! Click here or fill out the form below to schedule an appointment!

Physical Therapy for the Elbow

Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow

By Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation, Tennis

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is one of the most common upper body orthopedic injuries, especially when it becomes warmer outside and people pick up a new recreational activity. Although the name implies that this condition only occurs in tennis players, this is not always true! It is more common in tennis or racquet sports athletes, but it can also occur in anyone who performs repetitive arm motions through their job, recreational, or home activities. 

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, refers to pain on the outside (lateral) part of your elbow, often made worse with increased activity. The lateral epicondyle is the end of the humerus bone (upper arm bone), and your forearm muscles that extend your wrist and fingers (extensor muscles) attach to this bone. The tendon of these forearm muscles, called the common extensor tendon, can become inflamed with overuse. If left untreated, the pain can become worse over time. 

Lateral Epicondylitis is the inflammation or irritation of the common extensor tendon, causing pain in the forearm or outside part of the elbow.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

Overuse

Typically, lateral epicondylitis is caused by repetitive overuse and overstretching of your forearm extensor muscles. The most common muscle affected is the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB). When the forearm extensor muscles become overworked, they can develop trigger points or knots in the muscle. These knots are due to the build up of lactic acid and lack of stretching post activity. Trigger points can refer pain and cause weakness in the muscle. The more knots that develop and the tighter the extensor muscles become, the more that the tendon can become irritated.

This excess strain can result in tiny tears in the tendon where it attaches to the lateral epicondyle. This causes acute inflammation in the tendon, often leading to an increase in pain. 

If left untreated, lateral epicondylitis can become a chronic condition and get worse over time. Due to the overuse, scar tissue can develop and thicken the tendon. At this stage, there are typically no inflammatory cells, and we call this condition “Lateral Epicondylalgia”. 

Other Causes

  • Starting a new activity 
    • Rock climbing, tennis, water sports, CrossFit
  • Going too hard too fast
  • Improper technique or equipment while playing racquet sports
  • Prolonged use of hand or wrist
  • Typing or mousework at a computer
  • Painters, plumbers, machine operators
  • Excessive gripping or twisting activities
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Forceful activities 
  • Unknown 
  • The pain can begin randomly, and we call this “insidious onset”

Signs and Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

  • Usually starts out gradually and become worse over time
  • Pain and tenderness on the outside part of your elbow
  • Pain may radiate into your forearm or wrist
  • Pain or weakness with gripping activities
  • Weakness or cramping in the forearm with recreational activities 
  • Difficulty with opening a jar 
  • Pain when lifting a heavy object or child
  • Stiffness in the elbow

Tips for managing pain if you think you may have lateral epicondylitis

  • Modify your activities
    • This includes taking a rest break from tennis, lifting, or any other activity that is painful
    • Remember, tendons take time to heal! Taking a few weeks off after the pain begins is typically recommended for a tendinitis injury
  • Try ice or anti-inflammatory medications
  • Perform stretches for your forearm, especially before and after increased activity
    • You can watch our video where we instruct on these specific exercises.
  • Massage your forearm muscles 
    • You can use your opposite hand to massage the muscles on the back of your forearm
    • You could also use a handheld massage gun to gently loosen these muscles
  • Applying a compressive brace on your forearm
    • This helps release the amount of tension on the tendon on your lateral epicondyle

What happens if my pain doesn’t improve?

Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow

If your pain lasts longer than a few weeks and doesn’t seem to be improving, it may be time to try Physical Therapy for tennis elbow! 

Lateral epicondylitis is not always a “one size fits all” condition. There can be other factors contributing to your pain including numbness/tingling in the forearm, pain on the inside part of your elbow (medial epicondylitis/golfer’s elbow), and possibly shoulder and/or wrist pain. Our Physical Therapists will evaluate your elbow and determine the best plan and treatment approach specifically for you.

Don’t forget, you can refer yourself to Physical Therapy!

What Can I Expect during a PT Session? 

  • Pain Management: Your PT will help determine which movements cause your pain and help you avoid them in the beginning of treatment to decrease your symptoms. 
  • Range of Motion and Stretching Exercises: Often your wrist and elbow motion becomes limited due to pain. Your PT will prescribe you stretches for the muscles around your elbow to help regain your mobility and allow you to move with less pain. 
  • Strengthening Exercises: The forearm extensors and flexor muscles are typically weakened which makes it challenging to perform your daily activities such as gripping, typing, and lifting. Your PT will give you strengthening exercises for your weakened muscles in the forearm and hand to reduce the strain in your elbow. 
  • Manual Therapy: Hands-on treatment also assists in loosening your tight forearm muscles and improving the stiffness in your elbow joint. Dry needling is also an effective approach for relieving lateral elbow pain!

You will receive a home exercise program that was designed specifically for you, and your PT will regularly check in with your exercises to make sure they are still beneficial for you. After you graduate from PT, these exercises will be your tool to help prevent future episodes of elbow pain.

Conclusion

Lateral elbow pain is very common, and our physical therapists are specifically trained to help relieve your symptoms. Regardless if you have had elbow pain for years or just started experiencing this pain recently, we can assist in alleviating your pain!

If you’re experiencing pain in your elbow, please contact us by using the form below and we can get you scheduled with one of our dedicated physical therapists!

Physical Therapy For The Back

Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain

By Health, Low Back, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation, Spine

Low Back Pain

Out of all of the orthopedic conditions that Physical Therapists treat, low back pain is the most common. Low back pain can occur whether you are young or old, and it can last a few days or be off and on for years. It can be aggravated by a single event such as bending over, a car accident, or the pain can sneak up gradually over time.

Because low back pain can present many different ways, it is not a “one size fits all” condition. There can be issues with the joints in your spine, and this can cause stiffness in the bones in your low back. You could also be experiencing low back pain with possibly some weakness or numbness and tingling in your lower leg. Your low back could be taking 

too much of the load during activities due to weakness in your core and hip muscles. Whatever the cause, Physical Therapy for low back pain can help you return you back to function!

 

What Causes Low Back Pain?

As mentioned above, there are MANY different causes of low back pain. Here is a brief overview of the most common causes.

Common Causes:

  •     Disc and Nerve-related Conditions:

      Herniated Disc

      Lumbar Radiculopathy

      Sciatica

  •     Degenerative Conditions: common over the age of 50

      Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

      Degenerative Disc Disease

      Osteoarthritis

      Facet Joint Syndrome

      Osteoporosis

      Spondylolisthesis

  •     Myofascial Conditions: common in individuals 20-50 years old

      Muscle Strain or Spasm

      Ligament Sprain

      Hypermobility

      Instability

  •     More Serious Conditions:

      Fractures

      Cancer

      Kidney Disease

      Infection

 

Signs and Symptoms of Low Back Pain

Your pain might be in the center of your low back right above your belt line, it could be off to one side, or it could even begin to radiate down into your buttock region. The pain area could be a pin-point location or span across a larger region. Symptoms could vary between sharp or stabbing pain, throbbing pain, a dull ache, or shooting pain. The pain could be constant or come and go depending on the time of day or your activity level. You might not even be experiencing pain, but rather you feel more stiffness and an uncomfortable feeling in your low back.

The time limit and how frequently you experience your symptoms also helps define your low back pain. The main three categories of pain are:

1)    Acute Low Back Pain (pain that has lasted less than 3 months)

2)    Chronic Low Back Pain (pain that has lasted more than 3 months)

3)    Recurrent Low Back Pain (multiple periods of 3 month episodes of acute low back pain that comes and goes)

*If you are experiencing any symptoms that are more severe such as loss of bowel or bladder, progressive and severe weakness in both legs, decreased sensation in your groin area, or unexplained weight loss, please see your doctor immediately.

Tips for Managing Your Back Pain

Acute Low Back Pain

Typically resting for a short period of time can help calm down your symptoms initially. Ice can be used any time your back becomes hot and inflamed, such as after a fall or after a sudden movement that caused a sharp pain. Heat is commonly used after a car accident or repetitive activities that cause your back to ache and throb afterwards. Sometimes alternating heat and ice or using creams such as IcyHot or Biofreeze can also help you find some relief.

The most important thing to remember is that resting for a little bit after injuring your back is okay, but bed rest for multiple days is not recommended! The longer you stay inactive, the tighter your muscles and joints can become, and this can cause you more low back pain. Especially if you have been involved 

in a car accident, it is essential to keep moving!

If you recently aggravated your low back, it is also best to avoid prolonged positions such as sitting or staying in a crouched position for a long period of time. Additionally, attempt to avoid any heavy lifting or  repetitive squatting movements until your pain begins to decrease.

If you have been suffering with low back pain for more than two weeks and cannot find any relief, it may be time to consult your doctor or refer yourself to Physical Therapy.

Recurrent or Chronic Low Back Pain

Perhaps you have been suffe

ring with low back pain for years and have tried multiple different treatment options with no relief. Clearly something is causing your pain to keep coming back, and Physical Therapists are trained to come up with solutions to allow you to have more pain-free days.

Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain

In the majority of cases, low back pain can be successfully treated conservatively through Physical Therapy. During your first session, your PT will ask you multiple questions so he/she can figure out what is the underlying issue of your pain. These questions could include:

  •     What movements cause your pain?
  •     Is your pain worse in the morning or at night?
  •     Does your pain get gradually worse during the day or is it caused by a single movement?
  •     Do you have numbness or tingling down your leg or in your foot?
  •     When did your symptoms begin?
  •     Have you tried any other treatments before today?

The initial goal of PT is figuring out which movements cause your pain and avoiding them in the beginning of treatment to decrease your symptoms. Your PT can then find stretches or positions that feel good and help alleviate your low back pain. Once your pain decreases, you can begin performing your regular activities again. Typically strengthening exercises for your core and hip muscles is also necessary to reduce the strain in your low back muscles. Manual therapy (hands-on treatment) also assists in loosening your tight muscles and improving the stiffness in your back joints. Dry needling is also an effective approach for relieving low back pain!

You will receive a home exercise program that was designed specifically for you, and your PT will regularly check in with your exercises to make sure they are still beneficial for you. After you graduate from PT, these exercises will be your tool to help prevent future episodes of low back pain.

Conclusion

There are numerous treatment options for low back pain including injections, pain medications, chiropractor, massage, or possibly even surgery. If you have tried any of these treatments but nothing has helped, give PT a try! We see patients every day with low back pain, and we would love to help alleviate your pain!

If you’re experiencing Low Back pain, please contact us by using the form below and we can get you scheduled with one of our dedicated physical therapists!

 

 

Call To Book An Appointment!