Physical Therapy and Low Back Pain

Physical Therapy and Low Back Pain

Many years ago, patients would have been advised to rest and be immobilized as they healed from injury, surgery, sprains and/or strains. In the past few years, research has shown that being inactive weakens the muscles that surround and support the low back. If inactivity is prolonged, recovery could take a long time or make the condition worse.

Exercise, specifically therapeutic exercise, promotes healing by increasing the blood flow to the area of injury. This also promotes healthy muscle tissue and healthy muscles provide protection to bones and joints. Exercise also increases flexibility and strength in muscles.

Exercise, specifically therapeutic exercise, is a key factor in the healing of acute or chronic low back pain. At Injury Care Center, we specialize in therapeutic exercise for back pain. If you’ve been hurt at work or in a motor vehicle accident, our professional staff of physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors can provide a comprehensive program, which would include a stretching, strength and aerobic conditioning program tailored to your individual needs.

Engaging in an exercise program helps keep the back healthy. You have discs in your spine with fluid in them. This fluid is how the disc receives nutrition to stay healthy. Exercise acts on these discs by decreasing the swelling that normally goes with injury, in the soft tissues that surround the disc. When there is a lack of activity (exercise), the disc becomes malnourished and degenerated. Exercises also aids in stiffness by keeping the tendons and ligaments of the back flexible. When performing exercises for the low back, you improve your mobility. Improvements in mobility help keep the connective fibers in ligaments and tendons from tearing under stress. This improvement can help prevent returning back pain or prevent any future episodes of back pain.

Strength conditioning exercises combined with flexibility exercises also help in relieving back pain. Adding weight bearing exercise, help strengthen supporting structures, such as the abdominals and back muscles. The goal to back strengthening exercise is to improve the condition of the muscles. This helps to better support the spine. The benefits of a back strengthening program are to reduce stress on the discs and joints, improve range of motion and mobility, and improve spinal alignment and posture.

Why see a Physical Therapist?

These are the top three reasons to see a physical therapist at Injury Care Center:

  • To get relief from back pain,
  • Have a physical therapist develop an individualized program tailored to your needs,
  • Have our therapists teach you proper exercise technique and ways to get relief from your back pain.

Individualized Exercise Program:

Our physical therapists at Injury Care Center will evaluate you and develop a program tailored to your needs. You will work closely with the physical therapist assistants to learn proper technique and posture when performing your exercises. Developing an individualized program requires trial and error, observing how the patient responds to the program and making adjustments if needed.

Proper Exercise Technique:

As you learn proper exercise technique, you will learn how to isolate your muscle/muscle groups that increase the effectiveness of a particular exercise. The physical therapist or assistant will instruct and demonstrate the proper way to execute the exercise. Proper posture and utilizing proper body mechanics will also be a part of the therapeutic program. Programs usually begin with gentle stretches and progress to cardiovascular and strength conditioning. When done in a controlled, progressive manner, therapeutic exercise has many benefits, such as;

  • Removing pressure from the spinal discs and facet joints,
  • Decreasing stiffness and improving range of motion,
  • Increasing circulation to better distribute nutrients from the blood throughout the body,
  • Decreasing the frequency and severity of back pain.

Exercise can be thought of as a medical prescription. Our qualified staff at Injury Care Center will customize your exercise based on several issues, such as;

  • The clinical diagnosis,
  • Based on pain levels- mild, moderate or severe,
  • The frequency of visits,
  • The correct form and posture needed for performing the exercises.

Our qualified staff will make adjustments to the program can be made based on the response given. If a patient cannot tolerate the exercise, modifications are used until the patient builds more endurance and tolerance to the particular exercise.

Additional Guidelines for Recovering from Low Back Pain:

There are several guidelines to follow in addition to flexibility, strength conditioning and cardiovascular endurance. These are lifestyle changes you should try to change to help relieve back pain:

  • Eating properly- a healthier diet can help the healing process. Extra weight can slow down the healing process. Eat a balanced diet with adequate amount of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
  • STOP SMOKING!- Stopping smoking promotes improved oxygen flow through the blood stream.
  • Sleep- One of the best ways to get a good night sleep is through active exercise. It is also helpful for physical and emotional healing as well.
  • Control Medication Used to Relieve Back Pain- Physical activity is one of the best resources when managing back pain. Utilizing heat, cold, or massage therapy are safe and positive alternatives for pain management as well.
  • Exercising in a controlled, gradual progressive manner is recommended for pain relief.
  • Schedule your appointment with our professional and knowledgeable staff today!!!!


Donna Fedena, PTA

901 W. Ashland Ave.

Glenolden, Pa. 19036


Injury Care Center

1502 Upland Street

Chester, PA 19013



Injury Care Center

3300 Grant Ave.

Philadelphia, PA 19114