back

33% of the

population will need professional care to treat herniated discs, spinal stenosis, muscle spasms, and chronic pain. Treatment includes spinal traction, soft tissue mobilization, active release, Graston, and modalities such as E-stim, ultrasound, laser, and shock wave.

Herniated Disc

The intervertebral disc is a cartilage ring that sits between each vertebra in the spinal column. The disc has a tough outer layer (annulus fibrosis) and a gel-like inner layer (nucleus pulposus). When damage to the annulus occurs, the nucleus may stick out, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots and a variety of neurological symptoms. Injury most commonly occurs with repetitive bending, sitting, twisting or lifting movements combined with improper body mechanics and decreased balance in muscle strength and flexibility. Signs and symptoms of herniated disc include back pain that may radiate down the leg and tightness and weakness of low back and lower extremity musculature. Physical therapy is indicated to reduce pain and inflammation associated with the condition, as well as to create balance and stability through stretching and strengthening of back and lower extremity musculature. Additionally, education and lifestyle modifications are important to consider to maximize patient function and minimize further risk of injury. In patients who do not respond to conservative therapy, surgery may be indicated to remove the disc.

Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a condition that will affect 80% of the population at some point in their lifetimes. An acute episode may resolve in 4 weeks or less, but others may report chronic back pain lasting greater than 3 months. It is important to address the underlying cause of back pain with treatment to prevent recurrence. Physical therapy is indicated to reduce pain and inflammation associated with the condition, as well as to create balance and stability through stretching and strengthening of back and lower extremity musculature. Additionally, education and lifestyle modifications are important to consider, to maximize patient function and minimize further risk of injury.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a degenerative condition in which wear and tear on the spine causes decreased space in the spinal canal. Compression of spinal nerve roots in the lumbar spine causes irritation and a variety of neurological symptoms. The condition develops over time as intervertebral discs dry out and lose height, bringing vertebral bodies closer together and decreasing available space for spinal nerve roots to travel. Signs and symptoms include low back pain that may radiate down the leg and is worst when standing upright, but abates somewhat in sitting. Tightness and weakness of low back and lower extremity musculature may also be present. Physical therapy is indicated to reduce pain and inflammation associated with the condition, as well as to create balance and stability through stretching and strengthening of back and lower extremity musculature. Additionally, education and lifestyle modifications are important to consider, to maximize patient function and minimize further risk of injury.