Physical Therapy for People With Back Pain

By Stephanie Mikoliczak, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Howard Young Medical Center

The majority of the population (80 percent) will experience at least one episode of debilitating back pain sometime during their life. Back pain usually decreases over time with rest or avoidance of aggravating activities. People commonly seek assistance when back pain sticks with them, or when it is severe enough to limit their function.

Care for back pain comes in many forms including pain medications, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, injections, or in severe cases, surgery. Physical therapy offers a variety of effective, individualized treatments that not only relieve pain, but more importantly, get at the underlying cause/s of back pain to help prevent it from returning.

Physical therapy treatment interventions include exercise programs, posture and movement (body mechanics) re-education, massage, modalities such as heat, cold, ultrasound or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and manual (hands on) spine techniques called mobilizations to improve spine function and reduce pain.

A comprehensive physical therapy treatment program incorporates the most appropriate treatment interventions to help patients learn to care for themselves without needing continuous visits to a physical therapist while keeping costs to a minimum. A physical therapy program typically helps patients participate in activities they like to do from fishing to cross country skiing without pain.

Physical Therapists specialize in movement (Kinesiology) and the contributions motion/movement makes to both injury and healing. We are trained to know the contributions every tissue in the body makes to moving without pain, and in the reactions of the body tissues and the brain and nervous system's response to injury. Movement is required for life, and if moving is painful for a person, their lives can be tremendously affected by it. If you are having pain or difficulty with moving, a physical therapist may be able to help. Enjoy your body, and tapping into its amazing ability to heal with movement!

Stephanie Mikoliczak, PT, recently joined the Ministry Health Care Rehabilitation Department at Howard Young Medical Center. She is a graduate of Carroll University in Waukesha where she received a Bachelorette in Psychology and Doctorate of Physical Therapy.
 

 
 
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