How Physical Therapy Can Treat Common Back Problems in Spokane, WA

How Physical Therapy Can Treat Common Back Problems in Spokane, WA

Across our patient population, we have seen an uptick in members from our community suffering from back pain in Spokane, WA and how this creeping ache can thwart your daily activities. Whether you notice the back pain spreading to different areas or staying in one place, you could be suffering from one of the following common back problems discussed below. 

Our team at Lighthouse Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Spokane, WA discusses the issues and how physical therapy might relieve the symptoms. 

thoracic lumbar injury

Physical Therapy for Common Back Problems in Spokane, WA 

Sporadic and chronic back pain can develop for myriad reasons, including bad posture, a sedentary lifestyle and inadequate mattresses or pillows. However, you can also struggle with spinal stiffness and achiness from particular conditions. 

Here are some examples of 6 common back conditions that require physical therapy:

1. Degenerated or Herniated Discs

Discs sit between each vertebra in your spine, preventing the vertebrae from grinding up against each other. Sometimes, the soft tissues that make up these discs degrade, resulting in degenerative disc disease. Other times, you might move in such a way that causes a disc to slip out of place, causing a herniation.

Both conditions can cause painful symptoms like tingling limbs and recurring discomfort. You might also struggle with leg weakness when moving your limbs.

2. Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain that radiates from your lower back down through your legs. This occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet, is compressed or irritated. Common symptoms include sharp pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.

3. Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This condition often leads to pain, numbness or weakness, particularly in the legs and lower back. It can be caused by aging, arthritis or other degenerative conditions.

4. Osteoarthritis

As you age, the joints that connect various bones may become inflamed due to a condition called arthritis. Numerous tiny joints make up your spine and can swell if arthritis affects your back. You are more at risk of developing back pain because of such inflammatory conditions if you:

  • Consume inflammatory substances like excessive red meat or sugary foods.
  • Struggle to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Use substances like tobacco or alcohol.

Reducing these risk factors not only helps you avoid developing arthritis but can lessen its symptoms. However, many people need professional guidance to manage their arthritic struggles.

5. Scoliosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that often develops during the growth spurt just before puberty. While mild cases might not cause significant problems, severe scoliosis can lead to back pain, reduced lung function and other complications. Regular monitoring and physical therapy can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

6. Previous Back Strains or Muscle Injuries

Spine injuries are incredibly sneaky, and you may not discover them immediately. One day, you could wake up and take pain relievers to ease an achy back, believing the symptoms developed because you slept in a strange position. In reality, it could be an old misstep coming back to haunt you.

Back injuries can develop from seemingly benign everyday activities, like:

  • Playing contact sports
  • Participating in intense workout routines
  • Not stretching before physical movements
  • Constantly twisting, turning and bending for your job


How Physical Therapy Can Help You Heal Back Pain

Fortunately, our physical therapy services in Spokane, WA can provide long-lasting back pain relief and help you recover from these common back problems. 

Many first-time patients assume their therapeutic regimen will consist of light stretches guided by a physical therapist. However, modern technology and a deeper understanding of the musculoskeletal system have influenced considerable treatment evolutions. 

>>Check out our Bulletproof Injury Prevention services for local athletes and active adults!

Strengthen Your Back Muscles to Improve Flexibility

Physical therapists still use traditional, manual methods, like PT exercises and stretches, to help patients improve their flexibility and build strength. After all, many effective treatment plans are built on the foundation of getting patients up and moving again. Once you increase your core and leg strength, you can better support your spine. 

You can also supplement your physical treatment with massages and other touch-based therapies. Gentle repetitive movements encourage circulation, helping prevent post-workout pain. 

Implement Lifestyle Recommendations to be Proactive not Reactive

Physical therapy doesn’t end when you leave the clinic. You must consistently integrate therapeutic activities into your lifestyle. Your Lighthouse physical therapist might suggest the following habits:

  • Daily stretches
  • Routines to increase balance, mobility, and flexibility
  • Diet changes to enhance your recovery
  • Monitors and equipment to improve sleep quality

Nutrition, consistent movement and rest are integral to giving your body the edge it needs to stay ahead of these issues and, when needed, manage back conditions and relieve back pain. 

Utilize Technological Innovations for Faster Relief

As mentioned above, we set our clinic apart from the competition by using advanced technology to help our patients manage their back conditions. Based on your back condition, you might benefit from:

  • E-stimulation: Electric stim devices send electrical impulses into significantly weakened or stiff muscles. They can encourage blood flow and help muscles stay active. 
  • Heat or cold therapy: Delivering heat to your muscles expands blood vessels, which may improve nutrient and blood cell delivery. Cold therapy can lessen inflammation in agitated tissues. 
  • Ultrasound therapy: A technician will use an ultrasound device to deliver sound waves into injured muscle tissues. Your clinic may recommend it to treat arthritis, osteoarthritis and other chronic spinal conditions.

Treat Your Back Pain the Right Way at Lighthouse Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Spokane, WA

Managing common back problems doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge. The physical therapists at Lighthouse Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Spokane, WA will listen to your concerns and address your conditions and symptoms with a custom program built to get results quickly and safely!

Book a consultation today by calling 509-928-3443 or just fill out our online form here.