Most people will experience back pain at some time in their life. Back pain can be localized to the spine, or can cause other problems such as leg pain or weakness, tingling or numbness into the legs or feet, or bowel or bladder problems.
Many factors can contribute to back pain, including:
– Poor posture or poor body mechanics with daily activities
– Wear and tear on the lumbar (low back) joints and discs
– Weakness of the abdominal, pelvic, hip or low back muscles
– Injury to the area (car accident, fall, lifting, etc.)
– Chronic tightness of low back, pelvic or hip muscles
– Poor spinal or pelvic alignment
– Lifestyle habits including smoking, weight, stress, etc.
To learn more about the various causes of back pain and dysfunction, refer to our Neurology Library’s Back Pain and Lumber Spine Disorders article.
Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology
Physical Therapy for Back Pain and Dysfunction
Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology physical therapists are highly skilled in the assessment and treatment of lower back conditions. Working with neurologists has provided our therapists the opportunity to develop exceptional skills in the treatment of spinal conditions in order to attain optimal patient outcomes. The therapists start by thoroughly examining and determining the factors causing the back pain/symptoms, in conjunction with your neurologist’s assessment. The therapist develops a rehabilitation plan of care to address the identified dysfunctions and meet the patient’s goals.
Common treatment approaches for back pain include:
– Range of motion and stretching exercises for the low back, pelvis and legs
– Posture training, especially with work and daily activities
– Strengthening and stabilization exercises for your “core” – low back, abdominal, pelvic and hip muscles
– Manual therapy to low back. This may include joint mobilizations (moving low back vertebra or sacroiliac joints), traction (elongating the spine done either by therapist or machine), soft tissue mobilization to specific low back, gluteal, or hip muscles (similar to massage) or other hands-on techniques to loosen your muscles and joints
– Modalities, including ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat or ice
– Education on lifestyle changes
– Treatment of any other related problem that could be making your low back pain worse
Patients that are experiencing pelvic, bowel or bladder symptoms due to a lumbar spine condition are referred for treatment to our Pelvic Floor Dysfunction rehabilitation program.