A recent article in the Huffington Post titled “Doctors Have Been Treating Lower Back Pain All Wrong,” revealed what we’ve known all along: physical therapy is a solid solution for patients with low back pain. In fact, physical therapy and other alternative treatments are being pushed as the first-line of defense before invasive and costly interventions including surgery, medication and imaging.
The Huffington Post article reported on new guidelines by the American College of Physicians (ACP), released to change the tides on one of the most common reasons Americans make a doctor’s appointment. Low back pain surprisingly ranks second behind the common cold in
conditions driving people to seek medical advice.
The hope is that Americans will begin to treat most cases of low back pain much like they do the common cold: by allowing it to run its course. For those with chronic pain, alternative treatments such as physical therapy, yoga and acupuncture are being heralded as more effective and less costly than injections, MRIs and pain relievers.
The ACP turned its attention to the medications commonly used to treat low back pain. The committee’s findings suggest acetaminophens (including Tylenol and Excedrin) are ill-equipped to treat back pain and steer physicians to prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
including aspirin and ibuprofen. Overuse of the appropriate NSAIDs, however, can lead to heart and gastrointestinal issues in some cases. Due to their highly addictive nature, opioids are recommended as a last-resort option, used only after non-drug therapies and other pain
relievers fail to improve pain.
The new guidelines—replacing outdated guidelines released in 2007—help patients avoid the risks associated with all pain relievers and reinforce the value of seeking out low-risk alternative therapies including exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation and massage.
Physical therapists are experts in restoring and improving patients’ mobility and movement.
Physical therapists not only treat persistent or recurrent low back pain, but educate patients on the prevention of future issues. To prevent back pain, PTs teach patients how to:
- Maintain proper body positioning at work, home, and during leisure activities.
- Lift correctly by keeping the load close to the body.
- Request assistance when lifting heavy objects.
- Adopt and follow a regular exercise program.
These strategies and more can help a patient resolve the current case of low back pain and reduce the risk of returning pain. Be sure to inquire about the physical therapists' experience in helping people with low back pain when contacting a physical therapy clinic for an appointment. It’s also helpful to make a list of symptoms and being prepared to describe activities that make the pain worse in great detail.
New Jersey locations:
Bloomfield NJ Physical Therapy 44 Park Street Bloomfield , NJ 07003 Phone: 9736852335 Email us
Clifton NJ Physical Therapy - 1070 Clifton Ave 1070 Clifton Ave #1A Clifton , NJ 07013 Phone: 973-246-6565 Email us
Clifton NJ Physical Therapy - 1700 Rte 3 West 1700 Rte 3 West #Grnd Clifton , NJ 07013 Phone: 862-591-1000 Email us
Fair Lawn NJ Physical Therapy - Holsman Physical and Occupational Therapy 15-01 Broadway Ste 12 Fair Lawn , NJ 07410 Phone: 201-355-5199 Email us
Kearny NJ Physical Therapy 711 Kearny Ave Kearny , NJ 07032 Phone: 201-535-8555 Email us
Rahway NJ Physical Therapy 1600 Saint Georges Ave #107 Rahway , NJ 07065 Phone: 732-428-5566 Email us
Cedar Grove NJ Physical Therapy 408 Pompton Ave Cedar Grove , NJ 07009 Phone: 973-433-0732 Email us
Caldwell NJ Physical Therapy 378 Bloomfield Ave Caldwell , NJ 07006 Phone: 973-968-6002 Email us
Fair Lawn NJ Physical Therapy - Holsman Children's Therapy Center 15-01 Broadway Ste 14C Fair Lawn , NJ 07410 Phone: 201-351-1682 Email us
Newark NJ Physical Therapy 1060 Broad St #Bsmt Newark , NJ 07102 Phone: 973-457-4232 Email us
Jersey City NJ Physical Therapy 361 Montgomery St Jersey City , NJ 07302 Phone: 201-932-2656 Email us
Paterson NJ Physical Therapy 764 Main St. Suite 401 Paterson, NJ 07503 Phone: 973-705-7255 Email us
New York Locations:
Bronx NY Physical Therapy - 817 E 180th St 817 E 180th St Bronx , NY 10460 Phone: 718-355-9652 Email us
Bronx NY Morris Park Physical Therapy - 799 Morris Park Ave 799 Morris Park Ave Bronx , NY 10462 Phone: 718-684-6300 Email us
Brooklyn NY Physical Therapy 423 Lincoln Pl Brooklyn , NY 11238-5499 Phone: 347-708-9701 Email us
Brooklyn NY Liberty Ave 1084 Liberty Ave Brooklyn, NY 11208 Phone: 347-586-0625 Email us