How Physical Therapy Can Help Your Low Back Pain

Back Pain
Print icon

Low back pain, a common problem, is a major cause of disability resulting in difficulties with function at home and work.

More than 80 percent of Americans experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Jonathan Sylvain, manager of the Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network’s Spine Program, says physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to surgery and opioids for acute and long-term management of low back pain.  The Spine Program team includes experts who, after an examination, can develop a treatment plan for you that focuses on decreasing pain and optimizing functional capabilities through prescribed exercise, hands-on care and patient education.

According to Sylvain:

  • Studies have determined that seeing a physical therapist first for an episode of low back pain significantly lowered the probability of having an opioid prescription.
  • Early referral to physical therapy for low back pain is associated with lower utilization of advanced imaging, lumbar spinal injections, lumbar spine surgery, additional physician visits, and use of opioids.
  • Physical therapy is cost-effective and studies have shown that patients with low back pain who consult physical therapists early in their treatment incur lower out of pocket, pharmacy, and outpatient medical costs.
  • Physical therapists are movement experts who can assist you with optimizing your functional capabilities and empower you to be an active participant in your treatment.
  • If you are currently experiencing low back pain, stay active and do as much of your normal routine as possible.  Avoid bed rest for long periods of the day as it can actually slow your recovery

Common conditions that can be treated through physical therapy include:

  • Neck, mid-back, and low-back pain.
  • Stenosis, spondylolithesis and scoliosis.
  • Sacroiliac dysfunction.
  • Disc pathology.
  • Whiplash.
  • Spine-related sports or work injuries.

The Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network’s Spine Program offers a range of services for patients with chronic and acute neck and back pain. For more information, click here.



What's New

Cold and Flu Prevention

Keeping Your Student Athlete Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

As certified athletic trainers with Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network, Sabrena Lary and Deanna Barrett take great pride in taking good care of their student athletes both on and off the field. And with flu season just around the corner, they have these tips to help students stay healthy: A mention...

Exercise Program

New Twist for Cancer Survivors: Exercise Makes a Difference

So much of cancer seems beyond your control, but staying as active as possible can be key to managing the side effects of the disease and treatment and improving survival. Gretchin Bade, a physical therapist and program director of oncology with the Hartford Hospital Rehabilitation Network, cited at least 20...

Patellar tendon brace

Knee Pain? What To Do if It’s Patellar Tendonitis

Feeling pain in your knees when you are exercising? Jon Davis of Hartford HealthCare’s Sports Medicine team says that it could be due to patellar tendonitis. Patellar tendonitis, also known as Jumper’s or Kicker’s knee, is the inflammation of a tendon, generally due to overuse. Patellar tendonitis specifically is caused...

Why Am I So Sore The Day After My Workout Or Run?

Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network Staff Report Shall we talk about a shared experience? Let’s start with soreness, a universal complaint by anyone runs seriously enough to train for the Hartford Marathon or the more casual runner working up to his or her first Manchester Road Race. When you’re so sore after a...

How Cardiac Rehab can Help Heart Patients

Cardiac rehabilitation helps patients lose weight, lower their cholesterol, improve diabetes and reduce anxiety and depression after heart-related illnesses and procedures. So why aren’t people taking advantage of these programs? A study found that only 62 percent of people referred to cardiac rehab programs are actually using them. Why is...

Icing an Injury

How to Use Ice Properly to Treat Injuries

As as a Certified Athletic Trainer on Hartford HealthCare’s Sports Medicine team, Rebecca MacEwan treats all kinds of injuries on and off the field. Sometimes the technique she uses help an injured athlete is the most common, ice.  Ice and other cooling  methods are great for treating many conditions, says MacEwan, ...