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Physical Therapists Theorize Unknown Cause of Back Pain

Posted by floriza in Physical Therapy

In a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, the researchers theorize that back pain may be largely a result of “improper sequencing of muscle activity.” They believe that some muscles do not work properly when they are supposed to function during movement. This problem, then, leads to pain.

The study was conducted by the Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team, and the article was titled, “Efficacy of trunk balance exercises for individuals with chronic low back pain: A randomized clinical trial.”

The researchers began to create a treatment program that promotes balance so that all muscles that are required to function simultaneous for healthy movement can move properly. Study participants who received the balance training reported improvement, including reduced pain, better quality of life, and increased abilities to perform activities.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a treatment that rehabilitates physical problems that impair movement and prevent people from performing daily activities or sports activities without pain. Physical therapists also assist patients with improving their physical function so that they can increase their fitness level, whether it is for general health or for participation in sports or dance.

The rehabilitation work is often done after an injury or surgery as part of an overall recovery plan. Physical therapists in New Jersey, New York, and elsewhere work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, homes, and nursing facilities. Exercises and massage techniques are employed to reduce swelling and pain and to increase flexibility, movement, strength, and endurance of the muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Heat, ice, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound techniques may also be used.

Physical therapy is often prescribed for patients with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and general back pain (either acute or chronic). Patients with cancer, breathing disorders, and skin wounds are also sometimes referred to a physical therapist.

Back Pain Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of adults suffer from back pain at any given time, which equals about 31 million Americans. As many as 80 percent of people are estimated to experience back pain at some point in their lives.

Back pain is one of the top reasons for lost time from work, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of all absences. It is also the second most frequent reason people visit a doctor’s office. The first is upper respiratory ailments like the common cold.

For people under the age of 45, back pain is the number one disability in the U.S., and people spend more than $50 billion on back pain treatments every year.

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