Physical Therapy Tips for Low Back Pain

Physical Therapy Patient



Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, offers a holistic way to treat conditions like low back pain. Try these tips to treat and prevent your low back pain. 



1. Invest in Ergonomic Equipment


If you work a normal 9-5 job, chances are you are sitting in a chair for most of your day. Investing in ergonomic equipment for your workday is one of the most beneficial ways to prevent low back pain.

The number one thing you will need is an ergonomic chair that supports the natural curve of your spine and provides plenty of cushion. In addition, it is advantageous to get a sit-stand desk accompanied with a standing mat. 



2. Change the Way You Sleep

Have you recently purchased a new mattress? Or maybe you have had the same mattress for years. Either way, if you are experiencing back pain when you wake up in the morning, it is a good sign that it is from your mattress.

If you have a new mattress, it may just need time to break-in. However, if your back still hurts after a few weeks, you may want to consider returning it.

In addition, your sleeping position can hurt or help your back pain. The best sleeping position for your back is laying on your back. You can add a pillow underneath your knees to improve alignment even further.

If you don’t like sleeping on your back, you can lay on your side. It is best to keep your legs straight; sleeping in a fetal position can lead to back pain.

Be sure to avoid sleeping on your stomach. It puts a lot of pressure on your spine and can cause neck pain.



3. Avoid Sitting for Long Periods

If you are suffering from sudden back pain, your first reaction might be to get some rest. Resting your back for a short time can be beneficial; however, sitting or resting for too long can make symptoms worse.

If you sit at work often, try taking 10–15-minute breaks a few times per day to stand, or go on a walk.



4. Get a Massage


Massages can help to relax tense muscles, improve circulation, and relieve pain. We offer massage therapy at all three MPOWER locations: Midtown, Green Hills, and Cool Springs. If you already have a personal training session or PT appointment with us, it may be beneficial to add in a quick massage therapy session before or after your appointment.



5. Get Dry Needled

If you are experiencing pain and tension in your lower back, seek help from a physical therapist who is certified to practice dry needling.

Dry needling is a process in which very small needles are placed in and around a trigger point. This process can help to relieve lower back pain and tightness and improve mobility.



6. Talk to a Back Doctor

If your lower back pain does not go away after two weeks, you should seek help from a back doctor.

Our physical therapists in Nashville and Franklin, TN, work with the orthopedic surgeons at Elite Sports Medicine to ensure the best patient care from surgery to physical therapy.



7. Seek Help From a Physical Therapist Near You


If your back pain will not go away or is worsening, it is time to go to a physical therapy clinic. Our team of highly trained PTs will ask you various questions about your symptoms and concerns to develop a treatment plan.

MPOWER takes an integrative approach to physical therapy. All of the services you may need are under one roof: physical therapy, orthopedic surgery, massage therapy, personal training, and nutrition. We offer a variety of sports physical therapy and orthopedic physical therapy treatment plans. 



8. Talk to a Nutrition Specialist

Being overweight is one reason that many people experience back pain. If this sounds like you, seek help from a nutrition specialist to come up with a weight loss plan.

Our director of performance and nutrition, Dr. Tiff Breeding, specializes in performance nutrition and weight loss programming.



9. Modify Your Activities

If your low back pain is prohibiting you from daily tasks, it may be time to avoid or increase certain activities.

First, you should implement more low-impact exercise into your daily routine. Try walking, biking, or swimming a few times per week.

You should avoid any exercise that increases your back pain. Avoid lifting heavy objects, slouching, and bending.



10. Use Ice and Heat

When you experience pain, the first thing you may hear is to take pain medication or use ice. The simple method of using a hot and cold compress can do wonders for pain in the short term.

Use a hot or cold compress on the affected area for 20 minutes. Avoid doing hot and cold therapy back-to-back unless instructed by a doctor.

Marina von Rutenberg

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