For Lower Back Pain Treatment, Physical Therapy may be a better option than Surgery
Lower Back Pain Treatment
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Many people suffer from lower back pain, which is called “lumbar spinal stenosis”
Most often, doctors will recommend surgery to treat lower back pain
At the South Texas Spinal Clinic, however, we have found that non-invasive physical therapy can often times be a solution that can reduce pain and improve mobility
What is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?
It is the narrowing of the space inside the lowest part of the spinal canal. This narrowing puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves extending from the lumbar vertebrae, the five bones between the rib cage and the pelvis that make up the lower part of the spine
Spinal stenosis stems from the degeneration of discs, ligaments, or any of the joints between the interlocking vertebrae that form the spine
There are several causes of degeneration including aging and repetitive pressure on that part of the body
Stenosis can cause a painful and potentially disabling narrowing of the spinal canal
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
Pain in the groin, buttocks, and upper thigh that does not move down the leg (like the pain of sciatica)
Pain with standing or walking that gets better if you sit or squat
Pain that feels worse when you lean back and becomes less intense if you lean forward
An operation known as decompression or laminectomy is sometimes done to ease the pain of lumbar spinal stenosis.
It removes structures that are pressing on the nerves and contributing to symptoms.
But physical therapy is a great option to ease this type of lower back pain
To compare these two treatments, researchers recruited 169 Pittsburgh-area men and women with lumbar spinal stenosis. All agreed to have surgery, and understood that half would get surgery right away, while half would initially participate in a specifically designed physical therapy program
Participants in both groups saw benefits as early as 10 weeks after surgery or beginning physical therapy. Their pain continued to decline over four months, while their physical function continued to improve. Two years later, there was no difference in pain or physical function between the surgery and physical therapy groups
Twenty-two participants in the surgery group (25%) experienced surgery-related complications like repeat surgery or a surgery-related infection, while eight of those in the physical therapy group (10%) reported worsening symptoms as a complication
Treatment at South Texas Spinal Clinic
At South Texas Spinal Clinic, we offer full-service physical therapy to help you with lower back pain and other spinal pain issues. Come in for a consultation to see if physical therapy is the solution for you
Learn more about physical therapy from Howard LeWine, M.D., Chief Medical Editor, Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications at http://bit.ly/1GOLWCk