Getting out of bed each morning and taking your first steps is greeted by pain and/or stiffness in your back. Or, perhaps your back pain comes on later in the day after you’ve been moving around a little bit.
Whatever the timing, age-related back pain is an incredibly common occurrence — lower back pain, alone, is the one of the most common health problems that result in pain and disability among older adults around the world.
At Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine, our team offers many interventional therapies that can help relieve the discomfort that comes with back pain. While effective, these efforts are often temporary, which is why we recommend including physical therapy (PT) in your overall back pain treatment protocol for longer-lasting relief.
In fact, PT is so successful in treating age-related back pain that we have a dedicated specialist on staff — Nischal Patel, Doctor of Physical Therapy.
The many causes of age-related back pain
There are any number of reasons why you may be experiencing back pain as you get older, chief among them:
- Spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal
- Facet joint osteoarthritis
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis, when a vertebra slips out of place
- Degenerative disc disease
- Bone density loss, which can lead to compression fractures
Unfortunately, not only are these conditions quite prevalent among people over the age of 60, but there aren’t any cures for these issues, which leaves us to manage or slow the progression of whichever condition is causing your back pain.
The role of physical therapy in back pain
The goal of physical therapy, in general, is to relieve your pain, restore function, and improve your quality of life. To do this, Dr. Patel concentrates on several key areas during your PT, including:
- Improving function
- Increasing range of motion
- Improving balance
To better illustrate how this works for age-related back pain, let’s take a look at what Dr. Patel can accomplish through PT.
One of Dr. Patel’s first goals is to take the pressure off of the area that’s weakened or painful, which he does through strengthening. Your back isn’t composed of your spine alone, but a host of connective tissues, including your muscles. By strengthening the muscles that support your spine, you can transfer much of the workload to tissues that are better able to handle the job.
Dr. Patel also spends a fair amount of time on stretching exercises that ensure that the soft tissues in your spine are supple and enjoy a good range of motion.
Another great aspect of physical therapy for age-related back pain is that Dr. Patel also concentrates on functionality. If back pain has left you unable to perform certain tasks, Dr. Patel focuses on these tasks and works with you until you’re able to perform them without problems, or he recommends alternative solutions that preserve your ability to function normally.
The best PT services available
While it’s impossible to list here the many therapies that Dr. Patel uses to improve your quality of life, we want to point out that, as a doctor of physical therapy, Dr. Patel underwent many years of training in which he studied:
To provide you with the best treatments possible, our practice offers dedicated PT areas that feature the latest tools and equipment to help you find relief from chronic back pain.
If you’d like to learn more about our physical therapy services for age-related back pain or you want to schedule an appointment at our office in Westfield, New Jersey, simply click here.