Experts say that back pain is associated with the way our bones, muscles and ligaments in our backs work and connect together. Pain in the lower back may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdomen and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area. Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.
The goals of physical therapy are to decrease back pain, increase function, and teach the patient a maintenance program to prevent future back problems.
Common forms of physiotherapy include:
Passive physiotherapy (modalities), which includes things done to the patient, such as heat application, ice packs and electrical stimulation. For example, a heating pad may be applied to warm up the muscles prior to doing exercising and stretching, and an ice pack may be used afterward to sooth the muscles and soft tissues.
Active physiotherapy, which focuses on specific exercises and stretching. For most low back pain treatments, active exercise is the focus of the physical therapy program.
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