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  • Is There Finally Some Relief in Store for Low Back Pain?

    . . . Physical therapy and other alternative treatments are being pushed as the first-line
    of defense before invasive and costly interventions including surgery, medication and imaging.

    The Huffington Post article reported on new guidelines by the American College of Physicians
    (ACP), released to change the tides on one of the most common reasons Americans make a
    doctor’s appointment. Low back pain surprisingly ranks second behind the common cold in
    conditions driving people to seek medical advice.

    The hope is that Americans will begin to treat most cases of low back pain much like they do the
    common cold: by allowing it to run its course. For those with chronic pain, alternative treatments
    such as physical therapy, and dry needling are being heralded as more effective and less
    costly than injections, MRIs and pain relievers.

    The ACP turned its attention to the medications commonly used to treat low back pain. The
    committee’s findings suggest acetaminophens (including Tylenol and Excedrin) are ill-equipped
    to treat back pain and steer physicians to prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
    including aspirin and ibuprofen. Overuse of the appropriate NSAIDs, however, can lead to heart
    and gastrointestinal issues in some cases. Due to their highly addictive nature, opioids are
    recommended as a last-resort option, used only after non-drug therapies and other pain
    relievers fail to improve pain.

    The new guidelines—replacing outdated guidelines released in 2007—help patients avoid the
    risks associated with all pain relievers and reinforce the value of seeking out low-risk alternative
    physical therapy which includes exercises, stretching, soft-tissue massage, and more.

    Physical therapists are experts in restoring and improving patients’ mobility and movement.
    Physical therapists not only treat persistent or recurrent low back pain, but educate patients on
    the prevention of future issues. To prevent back pain, PTs teach patients how to:

    • Maintain proper body positioning at work, home, and during leisure activities.
    • Lift correctly by keeping the load close to the body.
    • Request assistance when lifting heavy objects.
    • Adopt and follow a regular exercise program.

    These strategies and more can help a patient resolve the current case of low back pain and
    reduce the risk of returning pain (and have you jumping for joy).

    Be sure to give us a call at (602) 808-8989 to get your lower back pain taken care of, increase your strength and mobility, and stay in the game!

    Check out the video below for some stretches that can help relieve low back pain!



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