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Low Back Pain: A Common Problem

Experiencing low back pain?

You are not alone. According to the NIH, 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. In some cases, the pain is mild and symptoms will resolve in a couple of days. In other cases, pain can be more severe and have major implications on your quality of life. Low back pain is one of the leading reasons for missed work.

Common causes of low back pain

· Sprain/strains: muscles or ligaments can be injured with excess activity.

· Disc herniation: a disc between your vertebrae is pushing out into the spinal canal.

· Degenerative disc disease: discs loose hydration over time making it more difficult to resist and transfer forces in the lumbar spine.

· Spinal stenosis: narrowing of the spinal canal.

· Radiculopathy: a compressed nerve.

Treating low back pain

Although pain medications can help to reduce pain, they are not addressing what is causing the pain. Recent evidence strongly supports physical therapy as an effective treatment for low back pain. Although treatments vary from person to person depending on symptoms and limitations, physical therapy in general will focus on:

· Strengthening: primarily working on stability muscles in the core, hips, and lower back.

· Stretching: hip and low back muscles to improve flexibility.

· Manual therapy: joint mobilizations and/or soft tissue massage.

· Modalities: hot and/or cold packs.

· Education: discussing posture, proper lifting mechanics, and other modifications to safely complete daily activities and remain active.

Call 207-307-2121 or visit Dynamic Physical Therapy and Sports Conditioning in Topsham, ME for more information. Appointments can also be made online: We look forward to helping you reach your goals!

man on exercise ball reaches forward
Bird-Dog Exercise


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