When You Should See a Physical Therapist for Back Pain

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We often get patients in the clinic who explain their back pain, along with a lengthy description of the different treatments, surgeries, and medications they’ve encountered along the way. “Nothing worked. I’m hoping you can help me,” they say. Physical therapy is a safe alternative to surgery and medication, and it can help you live pain-free: Our goal is not just to mask the pain, but to find the cause and treat it.

"But I’ve Tried Physical Therapy Before."

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ve tried physical therapy and it didn’t work for me.”? One thing to realize is that every therapist practices differently. If you visited an eye doctor and your new prescription wasn’t quite right, you wouldn’t try to fix your eyes yourself, would you? Of course not; you’d find a new optometrist and be on your way to 20/20 vision.

While low back pain is a common problem, it doesn’t have to be a way of life. If you’ve been suffering from pain or lack of motion for more than a few days, and it is negatively impacting your everyday life, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a physical therapist. Therapy is a great option for rehabilitation following surgery or an injury, and when dealing with acute or chronic pain. By determining the cause of a your pain, we get to the source of the problem and develop a treatment plan, which may include exercises to strengthen the back, manual therapy to improve the mobility of joints and tissues, and education on how to take better care of your back to relieve pain long term. In the state of Michigan, you need a prescription to see a physical therapist, and you have a choice as to where you seek therapy.

Remember, you don’t have to live with pain. As movement experts, physical therapists can help restore mobility, reduce pain, and improve quality of life.

janis kemper gina otterbeinGina Otterbein and Janis Kemper are licensed physical therapists and co-owners of Northern Physical Therapy. Northern Physical Therapy has five West Michigan locations, with therapists specializing in women’s health, fitness, and back and neck pain. The company is currently celebrating its twentieth year in business! More information can be found at www.northernpts.com.

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