What is it?

Physical therapy is a form of treatment provided directly by an expert in anatomy, biomechanics, and injury, called a physical therapist.

It involves a wide range of treatments including exercises, stretches, and postural education.

A proper physical therapy program can be very effective in the treatment of certain types of back pain.

How is it performed?

Physical therapy treatment varies significantly, depending on the cause of the pain.

There are three basic types of treatment:

  • Passive treatment or modalities. These involve strategies to loosen joints and muscle tension and reduce pain. This might include ice, heat, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation. In general these treatments are used primarily to reduce initial pain, but should not be the focus of treatment. 
  • Manual treatments – sometimes back pain that result in stiff joints or ligaments responds to manual treatment, which involves identifying these tissue restrictions and using hands on mobilization of tissue. 
  • Active physical therapy – this involves therapist guided stretches, strengthening, and exercises to reestablish normal spine mechanics and stability, which aids in recovery and prevents future injury. 
  • Home exercises - the therapist will recommend individualized stretching and strengthening that you will need to do at home on a regular basis. Sticking to these exercises has been shown to improve outcomes. 

How does it work?

A typical physical therapy treatment plan might include one to two treatments per week for four to six weeks.

Home exercises are given to continue between visits.

Physical therapy is performed under the direction of a prescribing physician, and regular follow-up with the physician is important to review progress in relation to an overall rehabilitation plan.

What is the recovery and prognosis?

Physical therapy can often provide immediate pain relief, however most patients require multiple treatments before significant changes occur.

For More Information about Physical Therapy

Learn more about the physical therapy programs offered at EvergreenHealth Rehabilitation Services.

Call us: 425.899.4930

Let us connect you with a physician who can help you get back to living with less pain.