When suffering from back pain, a back pain doctor in Austin, TX knows that one of the best forms of relief for your back pain is physical therapy. It is one of the best natural ways to obtain relief from back pain without the use of harsh drugs or other risky treatment options. If you are feeling pain in your back you should see whether physical therapy can help you. Many people think that back pain is something that can only be relieved by very serious measures, whether it is surgery or prescribed medication. However, even very painful chronic back pain can be relieved using more natural remedies, including treatments like chiropractic care, physical therapy, and dry needling. Starting with natural treatment methods can help you avoid treatments that can be costly and can even make your condition become worse. Riskier procedures like medications and surgery are not even guaranteed to eliminate your pain. If you are interested in learning more about these options to help relieve your back pain, contact Austin Physical Therapy for more information.
Back Pain Doctor Austin, TX
- Why Visit A Doctor For Back Pain?
- What Is Physical Therapy?
- How Can Physical Therapy Help Your Lower Back Pain?
- Can I Just Learn Movements On My Own At Home?
- Do I Need to Do At-Home Exercises?
- Common Lifestyle Factors that Lead to Back Pain
- Austin Back Pain Doctor Infographic
- Tips for Managing Back Pain
- Stretching to Alleviate Back Pain
- Foam Rolling For Back Pain
- Exercising For Back Pain
- Common Misconceptions About Back Pain
- Common Mistakes That Can Lead to Back Pain
- Austin Physical Therapy Back Pain Doctor
- Austin Back Pain Doctor Google Review
- Contact Our Austin Back Pain Doctor
Why Visit A Doctor For Back Pain?
Why an Austin, TX, back pain doctor? Because back pain occurs extremely frequently: Almost 80% of individuals experience back pain at some point in their lives! However, this also means that we at Austin Physical Therapy have cared for many back pain patients, giving us the experience needed to help others with back pain. How do we help? Continue reading to find out.
Even if you are not currently suffering from back pain, because of how prevalent it is, essentially everyone should perform exercises that can help prevent the onset of a back condition and avoid the pain that comes with it. To do this, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist near you. With as few as one or two physical therapy sessions, you can learn which exercises are best for you to do in an attempt to prevent back pain in the future.
Because your spine is connected with multiple bones, one vertebra can easily affect other vertebrae. For this reason, there are countless reasons why an individual could be suffering from back pain. The root cause could be spinal, muscular, or even systemic (e.g., metabolic or nervous system). It is best to take a holistic approach when addressing back pain. All cards are on the table, and an Austin back pain doctor will not rule anything out as the cause of the back pain until further inspection.
How you move and position yourself throughout each day has a significant impact on developing your posture and, consequently, back pain. Often, a person does not realize the habits they are forming while at work, performing household chores, taking care of children, or even sitting on the couch watching TV. These physical habits can profoundly influence the health of your spine. By making simple alterations to how you move or position your body, you can potentially save yourself from years of back pain in the future.
Mobility & Strength
The back should be treated as one system. As such, even if your back pain is located in the lumbar (low) spine, it is almost always beneficial to also improve the function of the thoracic (middle) and even cervical (neck) spine. The natural lordosis, or curve, of each spinal segment, should be preserved as best as possible. As the years go by, the back may become stiffer and weaker. By performing stretches, increasing the spine’s mobility, and strengthening the muscles around the spine, you can make significant contributions to your health and well-being. Keep in mind that while performing these stretches and exercises, it is critically important to do them correctly. Otherwise, you can do more damage than good to your back. To receive a personalized routine that will allow you to safely help mobilize and strengthen your back, schedule an appointment with an Austin back pain doctor at Austin Physical Therapy today.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a healthcare discipline that focuses on movement and improving the body’s functions. It focuses on correcting dysfunction and disorders in the body through treatments such as stretches, exercises, targeted adjustments, and other therapies. Physical therapists are trained to recognize disorders that inhibit a person’s mobility and body functions. They can help patients manage pain, recover from injuries, improve their flexibility and maintain their health. When movement and flexibility are restricted, it can inhibit a person’s ability to walk, run, bend, and do everyday tasks. There are many ways that a physical therapist can treat patients who are suffering from pain, soreness, and other symptoms. Suppose you are suffering from pain anywhere in your body or have issues like stiffness, muscle tightness, limited range of motion, and other problems. In that case, a physical therapist can develop a treatment plan that is designed for your specific condition.
How Can Physical Therapy Help Your Lower Back Pain?
You may be wondering: what can a back pain doctor do for me? Your doctor will help guide you through the different types of physical therapy movements that you can do at the office, and that will be safe to do on your own at home. No matter where you are, you can do simple stretches to improve your mobility, flexibility, and relieve pain. Doing these exercises daily can address the symptoms you are experiencing. Benefits to incorporating active stretching in your daily life. Regardless of whether you have a sedentary lifestyle or are physically active, physical therapy stretches and exercises can help your body stay flexible and improve your mobility. They also serve to facilitate recovery more quickly. Stretching often has several benefits. Stretching can help:
- Increase flexibility. Through physical therapy exercises, you can make your body more flexible and decrease joint pain.
- Increase your back’s mobility and range of motion. The spine can feel stiff, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle, but stretches can improve movement in your back.
- Strengthen muscles. In addition to gentle stretches, a core part of physical therapy are the strengthening exercises that incorporate light to moderate weights.
- Help to relax muscles that are too tight. If you have tightness in your shoulders and back, physical therapy can help relieve tension in your muscles and soothe them.
Another benefit of stretching is that it helps prevent injuries such as strains in your back and other body areas. If muscles are not stretched properly, such as during a warmup or post-workout, it can make your body more vulnerable. If there is too much tension in your body, the tension can eventually lead to a sudden injury, such as a pulled muscle. This can happen even after a basic movement, such as picking something up or reaching for an object. Daily stretches keep your body limber and reduce chronic stiffness, so make sure to make them a regular part of your routine. Stretches also make you feel good and help you to move more easily, allowing you to do your physical tasks. When done correctly, physical therapy exercises can be exactly what you need to help strengthen your back and get rid of the pain you have been dealing with.
Can I Just Learn Movements On My Own At Home?
Although a trained physical therapist will be able to give you techniques that you can use at home, you will not want to try movements without consulting your doctor. Attempting any kind of self-diagnosis is dangerous, and you could suffer an injury or make your condition worse. A doctor has the professional experience to conduct a thorough physical evaluation and develop a safe treatment program for you. Your doctor will need to pinpoint precisely what is wrong with your back so that you do not end up harming yourself even more by using online treatments that are not specific to your needs.
When you are experiencing back pain, you know you can turn to the trusted group at Austin Physical Therapy. Our team is here to help you get to the bottom of your back pain so that you can start living your life again. Back pain that has persisted for several weeks or seems to get worse should not be ignored. Have a doctor make a diagnosis so that they can develop a treatment plan to eliminate your pain. Contact our Austin back pain doctor to learn more today!
Do I Need to Do At-Home Exercises?
At-home exercises are usually the first treatment that a physical therapist may recommend for your back pain. If a physical therapist shows you exercise as part of your treatment plan, you need to do them daily if you hope to experience results. You must follow the complete instructions that the physical therapist gives to you. Follow every part of the treatment plan. If you do not abide by the specific instructions and do the exercises accordingly, you may not expect to receive the results you are looking for. You could also suffer an injury if you ignore the instructions or attempt to do the injuries in a different way. The exercises will not be as effective at improving your condition if you do not follow them correctly. It is okay if you skip a day occasionally during your plan, but make sure to do back exercises as much as possible. Having proper form during your exercises and doing them consistently will lead better to results. If you have any questions about how to do the exercises correctly, reach out to the physical therapist so that they can give you an explanation.
Common Lifestyle Factors that Lead to Back Pain
Many working adults find themselves sitting relatively still at a desk for eight or more hours per day. Sitting still for extended periods is unhealthy for the back and spine. Many patients return home for more sitting and only repeat the cycle four or five more times a week. A sedentary lifestyle is a major contributing factor for those experiencing back pain. Sitting for extended periods puts pressure on the spine, leading to herniated discs, pinched nerves, and bulges. Sitting weakens the muscles that would typically support the spine and help prevent such things from causing pain.
A lack of exercise and physical activity can contribute to back pain. Regular exercise keeps your spine flexible and your muscles strong, supporting your spine and preventing some causes of back pain. Even gentle forms of exercise – such as yoga, swimming, and walking – can help you reduce back pain.
Being overweight adds additional stress and strain on the body’s joints. The excess weight of the extra load on the joints directly increases the likelihood of experiencing back pain. By maintaining a healthy weight, the strain on your joints and back is lessened, and the possibility of debilitating back pain is decreased drastically.
Certain occupations involve:
- Heavy and frequent lifting.
- Repetitive motions.
- Other strain-inducing motions can contribute to a person experiencing back pain.
Also, the absence of movement presents a hazard; for example, standing or sitting still for long periods can lead to a person experiencing back pain that stems from compression of the spine and weakening of muscles that support the back.
Habitual slouching while sitting at a desk or at home while reading or on your devices are postural conditions that contribute to the likelihood of back pain. Ergonomics in your workstation or reading chair can help promote good posture and decrease the risk of experiencing back pain by reducing strain on your spine, neck, and limbs. The importance of good ergonomics cannot be stressed enough in your work life.
Smokers are more likely to have chronic back pain compared to non-smokers. Smoking also increases your risk for osteoporosis, slower healing, and degenerative diseases. All of these conditions can lead to more pain.
Improper Lifting Techniques
When you lift, do not lift with your back. Also, do not lift objects that weigh too much. Know your limits. When you do have to lift objects, use the power of your legs and keep the weight close to your body.
A back pain doctor will likely advise you of ways to mitigate these causes of back pain and ultimately get back on track to a life with less pain and more enjoyment of the activities you love doing. If you experience chronic back pain, get in touch with a back pain doctor. They will help create a strategy for helping relieve your pain through changes in your lifestyle and other strengthening exercises and therapies.
Austin Back Pain Doctor Infographic
Tips for Managing Back Pain
An Austin back pain doctor can share that back pain can cause challenges and be debilitating for a person, impacting their daily lives and making it challenging to conduct the most mundane tasks. Many factors contribute to back pain, such as injuries, lifestyle habits, and poor posture, to name a few. Working with the practitioners at Austin Physical Therapy can be advantageous as they can carefully evaluate the condition and determine a course of treatment that could include:
- Manual Therapies
- Stretches and Exercises for Home
- Dry Needling
- Total Spinal Fitness
While treatments can significantly reduce pain, improve range of motion, and support the healing process, it’s important to note that patients must be fully committed to their recovery to receive the best possible recovery from ailments. Because of this, our doctors will likely recommend a treatment plan that could include stretches and exercises that patients should complete at home. When you work closely with a professional who specializes in back pain, they will work with patients by administering treatments to relieve pain and assist with healing. Still, they will also teach stretches and exercises to help manage pain and strengthen the affected area. Here are some tips that may assist with healing back pain depending upon your condition:
Stretching to Alleviate Back Pain
Daily stretching can play a positive role in a person’s life as it can help alleviate tension and keep the muscles flexible. Stretching can also help to improve the body’s range of motion which will be critical for those who have spent extended periods living a sedentary lifestyle or in bed recovering from injuries. Our Austin back pain doctor can share that there are several common stretches for back pain that include:
- Cat-Cow Position
- Forward Fold
- Toe Touches
- Saddle Fold
- Spinal Twist
- Child’s Pose
- Holding Your Knees to Chest
Foam Rolling For Back Pain
Foam rolling is an excellent way to manage back pain because it uses the myofascial release technique. Myofascial release targets the affected area while also working with the greater network of muscles throughout the body. Rather than targeting one area of the body, myofascial release releases tension points that may be causing pain and tension. A foam roller is a cylinder-shaped device that allows a person to apply light pressure and roll over certain parts of the body, effectively reducing knots and improving mobility.
Exercising For Back Pain
Exercising for back pain may seem counterintuitive after an injury or prolonged chronic pain. However, engaging in low-impact exercises can help strengthen the back, and the core, reduce tension, and keep the tendons and ligaments flexible, thus improving the range of motion. Exercise doesn’t have to be a tedious task. In fact, there are simple, accessible ways to exercise that require little skill or cost, such as walking, yoga, biking, or light aerobic exercise.
It’s a common misconception that extended rest times are effective for pain sufferers to manage their back pain. The reality is that staying in bed for extended periods or long-term bed rest can prolong a patient’s recovery, causing it to stall.
Common Misconceptions About Back Pain
Many adults suffer from back pain these days. Even though it is a common condition, back is still widely misunderstood. Here are some common misconceptions about back pain.
- If you suffer from back pain, you need the firmest mattress. Some people who deal with back pain may assume that they should buy a firmer mattress. However, that will not necessarily help. In fact, a mattress that is too firm can put too much pressure on your back, increasing your pain. Instead, choose a medium-firm mattress.
- Back pain is a normal part of getting older. While elderly people may be more likely to have back pain than their younger counterparts, back pain is not a normal part of the aging process. As you get older, you can still take steps to reduce your risk of back pain, like maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and lifting items correctly.
- Sitting up straight can prevent back pain. Many people assume that if they just sit up straight in their chair, they can avoid back pain. Although you certainly do not want to slouch, you also do not want to sit straight for too long either. Sitting for hours at a time can actually strain your back after a while. If you work a desk job, try to get up several times a day to walk and stretch.
- If you have back pain, you will need surgery. This is another common myth about back pain that you should not believe. The truth is that surgery should only be used as a last resort. Many people find relief from their back pain from non-invasive methods, like rest, exercise and physical therapy.
- Back pain always results from injuries. Although back pain can occur due to injuries, it can result from other causes too. Some people may develop back pain from disc degeneration, fibromyalgia, spinal infections, and other conditions. That is why it is important to get a proper diagnosis if you have back pain.
- If you have back pain, you should move as little as possible. This is not true either. In fact, too much bed rest can be detrimental to back pain. If you do not move around much, you can increase stiffness in your back, making your pain worse. To avoid this, try to get some light exercise, like walking or swimming.
Common Mistakes That Can Lead to Back Pain
Back pain is a common ailment among adults. Dealing with back pain is frustrating and can prevent you from partaking in certain activities. However, you could unknowingly be doing things that are making your back pain worse.
Here are a few common mistakes an Austin back pain doctor wants you to avoid.
- You do not work out your core enough. Core-strength exercises won’t just help you build muscle and make you more physically fit. They can also strengthen your back muscles, making you less susceptible to pain. Good examples of core workouts include crunches, bridges, planks, and supermans. Try to do these exercises at least a couple of times a week to build core strength.
- You use improper form when weightlifting. Weight training can help you build muscle and a stronger body. However, if you do these exercises incorrectly, you could hurt your back. When lifting, keep the weights close to your body and maintain a straight back. Lift the weights slowly and do not lift more weight than you can handle.
- You have poor posture. Most people have slouched in their chairs from time to time. However, if you make this a regular habit, it can eventually take its toll on your back. When you sit slouched in your chair, it can put pressure on your spine, resulting in back pain. That is why you should always be mindful of your posture. An Austin back pain doctor may advise you to always sit up straight with your shoulders pulled back.
- You smoke tobacco. You probably already know that smoking is harmful to your heart and lungs. However, you might not be aware that it can damage your spine too. Tobacco can hinder blood flow, so your spine will not receive the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. As a result, your spine can deteriorate quickly and cause back pain. Quitting smoking can help alleviate your back pain and a lot of other health issues. If you need help quitting, you should talk to your doctor right away.
- You do not watch your weight. Being overweight can make you more susceptible to various health conditions and ailments, including back pain. When you are carrying around too much weight, it can put stress on your spine and cause back pain. Losing weight through diet and exercise may help improve your back pain. Even after you lose a few pounds, you may notice an improvement.
- You ignore your back pain. Some people make the mistake of ignoring their backs for too long. They may hope it will go away on its own. However, it is not a good idea to do this. If you neglect to seek treatment for your back pain, it may get worse. If you have been struggling with back pain, you should make an appointment with a doctor soon.
Will exercise help?
When it comes to dealing with chronic back pain, you may be ready to try just about anything. It can help to understand different exercises that you may be able to do to help relieve your pain. Hearing the word “exercise” may make you think that whatever is about to happen will likely be too much on your back. However, we are not talking about running, jumping, lifting weights, or doing HIIT. The goal is not to make you push your body to the limits to gain serious muscle. Instead, it is to heal slowly, challenge yourself when you can, and gain realistic amounts of muscle that can protect your back from injuries in the future.
What kind of exercise might be good?
One form of exercise that could seriously help your back pain is yoga. It’s true. Many people think of yoga as something that you do when you go on a spiritual retreat or when you drop the kids off at daycare. However, yoga can pack some serious health benefits, including strengthening your back. One form of yoga, known as “Hatha yoga” was designed to help people who are suffering from back pain. This type of yoga focuses specifically on different postures and movements that help to align the tissues and muscles in your back so that you open up the major pathway of communication through your body: your spine.
How can yoga help my back pain?
Yoga can help your back pain in multiple ways. It can help:
- Improve blood flow. How does blood flow help? Blood flow brings nourishment and healing properties to areas of your body and it can also help to flush out impurities and waste. When you are dealing with chronic back pain, good blood flow through your back is crucial.
- Stretch your back. When you carefully hold a yoga pose for 30-60 seconds, it gives your body the opportunity to sink into the stretch and allow your muscles to begin working carefully.
- It strengthens your back and your core. What does your core have to do with it? When you have a weak core, you have poor posture and may notice back pain. By using safe, methodical movements in yoga, you can strengthen your back and your core and you may notice your pain diminishing.
Does relaxation help with pain?
Absolutely. A big benefit of yoga is that it can help with overall body relaxation. When you are in pain in one area, you may notice other areas of your body tensing up. This means muscle soreness, fatigue, and mental exhaustion. When you take time during yoga to allow yourself to relax, you are allowing your body to take a break from the stress it is going through. This takes a great deal of pressure off of your body and gives you time to rest and recover, even if it is during yoga and not while sleeping. You can also learn different breathing techniques during yoga that can help you during times of stress. Using breathing techniques can help you get out of your head and even reduce pain in your body.
The sooner prospective patients meet with our Austin back pain doctor from Austin Physical Therapy, the sooner patients can return to their normal activity levels.