Living with back pain is not fun for you, your family or friends. Often it prevents you from being productive at work, participating in activities or enjoying some family pleasures – such as taking a walk or playing with your children or grandchildren. There are many options available for people who want to know what to do for a sore back. Some opt to take over-the-counter medication, others may try to grin and bear it, rest in bed or seek help from a Doctor or Therapist. If you are in relatively good health, exercise regularly and consume a healthy diet, you may find that your low back pain resolves with little or no treatment in a few days or weeks. If you are at risk, have severe pain that is sharp, shooting or radiates into the legs or hips, or experience numbness or tingling, then discover how physical therapy helps a sore back – especially if the pain is mechanical in nature – resulting from excessive or prolonged posture issues, or due to overuse or muscle strain. So, if you want to know what to do for a sore back… speak with a Physical Therapist who can correctly diagnose back pain and implement the best treatment for relief.
Ways to Help Back Pain
Once it has been determined that immediate medical care is not needed, there are several ways to help back pain with physical therapy. A customized physical therapy program, complete with short-term and long-term goals will be created on a gradient level. Gradually you will add pain-free movements to rebuild strength, range-of-motion, and flexibility and improve posture. For example, you may start out by doing a squat (without any weight), progress to a 5 pound weight and gradually increase to a 10 or 15 pound weight. In addition to specific exercises (rehabilitative, stretching and strengthening) – active physical therapy, other ways to help back pain include passive physical therapy:
- Moist Heat or Hot Packs
- Cold Packs or Ice Therapy
- Electric Stimulation and TENS
- Joint Mobilization
- Kinesiology Taping
- Muscle-Release Techniques
Some of the Best Back Exercises to Strengthen the Back
There are numerous exercises designed to strengthen your core and lower back muscles. The key is to perform each exercise correctly with good posture. Patients find the best back exercises and back stretches include:
- Bent Row
- Arch Hold
- Pelvic Tilt
- Knee Chest Stretch
- Trunk Rotation
In addition to exercises and back stretches, it is important to exercise routinely, maintain good posture, eat healthy and stay hydrated, get enough sleep (7 – 8 hours per night) and use proper techniques when lifting, pulling and pushing. Remember to always check with your Doctor before starting an exercise program.
To learn more about how physical therapy can help or the best back exercises, our Physical Therapy Team is ready to help you.