What Kind of Physical Therapy Is Used for Back Pain Relief?
What Kind of Physical Therapy Is Used for Back Pain Relief?
You are not alone if you have been experiencing back pain for a long time now. Back pain is the number one cause of disability worldwide, and almost 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in life.

You are not alone if you have been experiencing back pain for a long time now. Back pain is the number one cause of disability worldwide, and almost 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in life.


Although you may feel like staying on the couch whenever back pain strikes, physical therapy is the best way

to strengthen the back muscles, regain normal functioning, and promote back pain relief Hillsborough NJ.

Before diving into what kind of physical therapy helps with back pain relief, we can discuss what causes pain in the back.


What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can result from an injury or the symptom of an underlying medical condition. If you are unaware of what caused pain in your back, visit physical therapists who can identify the exact cause of your back pain and help with treatments that promote back pain relief Hillsborough NJ.


  • Muscle Strain - Back muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon (tough bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone) that support the spine. It occurs when the back muscles are overstretched beyond their limits while lifting heavy objects. The symptoms include muscle spasms, reduced range of motion, and pain that gets worse with further movements.


  • Osteoporosis - A condition that occurs due to a reduction in the amount of bone mineral density and bone mass, causing the bones to become weak and more prone to fractures.


  • Herniated Disc - The condition results from an injury that causes the inner portion of the spinal disc to protrude through the outer ring, leading to lower back pain, numbness or weakness.


  • Arthritis - Arthritis in the back is an inflammatory disease that affects the facet joints in the spine, leading to back pain and stiffness.


Physical Therapy Treatments Used for Back Pain Relief

Physical therapists use passive methods and active exercises to help reduce back pain in patients. 

Passive Physical Therapy


Passive physical therapy means that the patients who receive the treatment need not actively participate in the procedure. The treatments are aimed to decrease the patients’ pain levels as much as possible so that they can take part in active exercises. The following passive modalities are used to promote back pain relief Hillsborough NJ.


1) Ultrasound Therapy

Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to provide deep heating to soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments. When an electrical charge is applied to the ultrasound unit, it vibrates rapidly and generates sound waves that enter the injured tissues. It increases circulation to those tissues, starts the healing process, and decreases pain.


2) Electrotherapy

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), the most commonly used method of electrotherapy, uses electrical impulses to change the sensation of back pain by blocking the pain signals sent to the brain. It also treats muscle spasms and allows the body to produce natural painkillers called endorphins.


3) Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis is the method of delivering steroids through the skin using a mild electric current that pushes the medication into the injury site. The steroids create an anti-inflammatory effect in the painful areas, reducing pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. It is a safe procedure that effectively helps in back pain relief Hillsborough NJ.


4) Heat and Cold Therapy

This is a common method that the patients can perform at the comfort of their homes using heating pads, warm shower baths, or ice packs. Heat therapy applied on the back can increase blood flow and bring more nutrients to the affected area. Cold treatment can be performed using ice packs wrapped in a towel for 10-20 minutes once every two hours. It reduces inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms.


5) Manual Therapy

Physical therapists utilize different techniques of manual therapy depending on the results of the patients’ initial assessment. One of the methods of hands-on procedures is soft tissue mobilization, in which the practitioners apply rhythmic stretching and deep pressure to localize the area of restrictions. Then they use various methods like IASTM to break up scar tissue or adhesions resulting from a back injury and relax muscle tension.


Active Physical Therapy

Active physical therapy means that the patients actively participate in performing exercises and stretches recommended by the therapists.


1) Stretching Exercises

Stretching the back muscles relaxes tension and increases the range of motion, thus helping with alleviating back pain. According to the source and severity of back pain, physical therapists suggest exercises aimed at stretching the lower back, abdominal, hip, and leg muscles.


2) Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening the back and core muscles that support the spine can relieve pressure on the back and help reduce back pain. Physical therapists create a specialized exercise program that includes strengthening the abdominal muscles in the front and the gluteal muscles in the back to stabilize the spine.


3) Aerobic Exercises

Low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, and water aerobics can enhance blood circulation, remove excess pressure on the spine, and increase the production of endorphins which act as a natural painkiller. These exercises help with the reduction of back pain in the long term and prevent recurring pain.


Final Thoughts


The various physical therapy treatments can treat any kind of back pain and help the patients reduce their dependence on medications and surgery. They also assist in preventing future episodes of back pain and improving the quality of patients’ lives.