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Lancaster Physical Therapy

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Common Lower Back Injuries

Lower Back Pain

3d diagram showcasing lower back pain spot

The low back consists of a plethora of joints, discs, ligaments, musculature, and nervous structures. So many of us will experience an episode of low back pain in our lives. We may lift a heavy box with poor technique, or we may experience low back pain that gradually increases without cause. Pain in the low back, sometimes radiating into one or both legs, can be very debilitating. Even with advances in examination techniques and imaging, we may never know why we experience low back pain and are unable to identify the exact cause.

Common low back injuries and conditions that present to a physical therapist include muscle strains, disc herniations, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and osteoarthritis. Other times, symptoms may be related to sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, asymmetry, arthritis, or joint laxity. It is important to understand and screen the SI joint for possible contribution to symptoms. We use a combination of subjective information and a series of tests to rule in/rule out contributions from the SI joint/pelvis. As with other injuries and conditions, you may require consultation with an orthopedist, neurosurgeon, or a physiatrist (specializes in pain originating from the spine). We will work seamlessly with these physicians to manage your condition, including assisting with post-operative care.

Treatment of the low back includes a combination of core strengthening, flexibility efforts, manual therapy including joint mobilization, muscle energy techniques, and soft tissue mobilization, and modalities as needed. Patient education in posture, activity modification, and movement strategies is critical to empower our patients in recovery from low back pain. Using a multi-faceted approach with a focus on consistent education, our physical therapy intervention for low back pain, non-operative and operative, can lead you to back to movement and function as you desire.

Did you Know?
More than 80% of Americans experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Physical therapy interventions of thrust and non-thrust mobilization, core strengthening, and exercise are supported by evidence in the recovery from low back pain.