By Majid Saedifar, DPT
Are you suffering from lower back pain? Statistics show that you aren’t alone. A University of North Carolina study showed that a massive 10.2% of all the state’s residents suffered from a degree of lower back pain that caused some degree of impairment in their daily lives. Another report estimated that 80% of all Americans will struggle with lower back pain at some point in their lives, and that the costs of the malady can be as high as $100 billion annually in medical treatment, lost wages, and productivity.
For many, the symptoms of lower back pain will resolve over time: in these cases, injury or overuse of the involved muscles, ligaments, and joints in the lower back are the usual cause. However, if you’ve noticed that your lower back pain has persisted for more than three months without any noticeable reduction, you may have a chronic condition. Your body is telling you that there are obstacles to the healing process that need to be addressed.
Many patients suffering from chronic lower back pain make the mistake of reducing their exercise and mobility. However, it is vitally important to use the affected muscles, ligaments, and joints of the lower back if pain relief is the end goal! Our nervous system is hard-wired to heal as a response to gradual and regular exercise. Without exercise, we limit what our bodies can do.
A lot of patients avoid exercise and physical therapy as treatments for chronic lower back pain, as they’ve grown accustomed to heat pads or medication. Unfortunately, heating pads and medication only provide a “quick fix” that eases symptoms without addressing the root causes of the pain. Many painkillers are narcotics, and continued use can lead to physical dependency. Even over-the-counter pills like Ibuprofin can have potential cardiovascular and gastrointestinal complications if taken regularly and for extended periods of time. Simply put, they’re no substitute for a good exercise program.
At Medstar, we’ve worked with countless patients suffering from chronic lower back pain. With our expert assistance, patients often experience significant reductions to their level of discomfort and noticeable gains to their activity levels and mobility. We work to help strengthen the muscles and joints in the lower back with a variety of exercises that are well-tolerated by people of all ages and exercise backgrounds. Even if you’ve never been on an exercise regimen in your life, we can help.
If you’re tired of living with chronic lower back pain, give us a call at (818) 244-0009. Our representatives are standing by to tell you more about how our physical therapists can provide treatment for your symptoms.