Low Back Pain and Physical Therapy
 
 

 

 

 

 

Low Back Pain and Physical Therapy

 

 

A recent article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in February 2009 reveals that the most effective treatment for lumbar degenerative disc disease is physical therapy combined with anti-inflammatory medications.  The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) states that this study should convince many patients with low back pain to consider physical therapy as a first line of treatment for their condition.  Lumbar degenerative disc disease develops when a disc weakens, is injured, or deteriorates from aging.  Approximately 75% to 85% of adults will be affected by low back pain during their lifetimes. 

 

The study also concluded that physical therapy along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the “cornerstones” of non-surgical treatment.  Physical therapy treatments consist of strengthening core muscle groups around the abdominal and lumbar regions that will help in the stability of this condition and will have positive effects with patients.  Exercise and manual therapy treatments have shown to benefit many patients, in addition to patient education in appropriate body mechanics to help patients stay active.  “Receiving care from a licensed physical therapist can further improve the odds that a patient can maintain their quality of life and avoid surgery,” states Julie Fritz, PT, PhD, ATC, a spokesperson for the APTA.  Luke Madigan, MD, an attending physician at Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic, states that “surgery should be the last option, but too often patients think of surgery as a cure all and are eager to embark on it.”  Physical therapists can help patients develop a safe and effective exercise program that is tailored to an individual’s specific needs and goals.