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Can Spine and Sports Physical Therapy Help Sudden Onset Back Pain?

A hard jolt or a big fall. These are the types of accidents that can trigger sudden onset back pain.

But what’s the best way to reduce the resulting pain? A mounting body of evidence is pointing to spine and sports physical therapy to treat a number of acute conditions.

Sprains and strains of the ligaments that support the spine can happen more easily than most people realize. This is especially true for people who aren’t in peak physical condition. Although spine and sports physical therapy offices do treat a number of athletes, and these patients are more likely to have back pain due to an injury that occurred on the field, it’s even more common for physical therapists to see non-athletes who hurt themselves while doing an activity as simple as bending down to pick up something off the floor.

What Causes Sudden Onset Back Pain?

Sudden onset back pain, or acute back pain, can have thousands of potential causes. According to the North American Spine Society, as many as 80% of adults experience significant low back pain at some point in their lives. Something as simple as reaching down to pick up a pencil off the floor can strain the tendons or muscles that support the spine. However, sudden onset back pain does tend to be more common among people with sedentary lifestyles.

If it has been a while since you’ve exercised, or if you have let your weight creep up, then you are at an increased risk of an acute back injury. Having the combination of low functional ability from lack of exercise with being overweight makes back injuries more likely.

Sudden onset back pain can also be caused by spinal discs, muscles, and ligaments that are not properly controlled resulting in soft tissues being strained or sprained.  Imbalance among structures of the lumbar spine, pelvis, and hips, commonly referred to as “The Core”, can lead to the perfect storm of lumbar disc injury.  Such a condition frequently among athletes and non-athletes incurring lumbar spine injuries.

Osteoporosis is another culprit behind sudden onset back pain. If osteoporosis is in the advanced stages, it can cause a type of vertebral compression fracture that may occur when a patient performs even the most basic of activities. Acts like sneezing, coughing, or rolling over in bed may result in severe pain and perhaps a fracture. Acute pain from a vertebral compression fracture may last from four to six weeks or longer. Interventions from a physical therapist can decrease the severity and duration of the impairments. Seeking out a physical therapist skilled in caring for individuals with spinal disorders is highly recommended.

How to Treat Sudden Onset Back Pain

Spine and sports physical therapy offers effective tools for treating sudden onset back pain. Manual therapy and exercise are foundational to the care of spinal injuries. Modalities including ultrasound and electrical stimulation may be used to decrease the related soreness and pain.

In addition to being more cost effective than surgery, spine and sports physical therapy is also considered the more conservative approach to treating back pain. Why go straight to spine surgery when simple exercises might be all that’s needed to get your pain under control?  Additionally, physical therapy prior to surgery can increase the likelihood of positive outcomes if surgery is ultimately required.

It’s also recommended that patients seek out spine and sports physical therapy before using prescription pain medications. Studies are showing that physical therapy exercises are among the most effective treatments for lower back pain, with most patients seeing initial results after a matter of weeks. Patients who successfully complete spine and sports physical therapy are less likely to need narcotic pain medications, as well.

Twin Boro: New Jersey’s Back Pain Experts

Don’t let debilitating back pain change your way of life. Get in contact with Twin Boro, the spine and sports physical therapy experts, for an evaluation and comprehensive treatment plan today. Our physical therapists genuinely care about your health, and we’re ready to help you get started on the road to recovery.

Call Twin Boro Physical Therapy at1-732-444-3578 or schedule an appointment online.

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