Millions of Americans deal with back pain each year. In the most severe cases, the pain can go on for several weeks or even months before it subsides. When someone suffers a back injury or experiences pain for an extended period of time, physical therapy is typically recommended. Patients can usually choose between receiving the therapy at a clinic, or they can opt for mobile physical therapy (if available in your area).
The goal of physical therapy for back injuries is to reduce the pain, strengthen the back muscles, improve function, and take steps to prevent an injury from reoccurring. To treat the pain, a combination of passive and active methods is typically employed. Passive back pain treatments may include:
- Heat Applications
- Ice Packs
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators (TENS) Therapy
Active physical therapy exercises may include:
- Low-Impact Aerobics (e.g., walking, swimming)
- Back-Strengthening Exercises
- Back Muscle Stretching Exercises
A series of exercises are performed in a recommended sequence (as directed by the therapist). As the therapy progresses, more exercises are typically added to build strength and accelerate recovery. For this reason, it is important to keep all appointments (when possible) to maintain momentum and experience relief in the shortest possible time.
The Benefits of Mobile Physical Therapy for Back Injuries
Following an injury, back pain can fluctuate in severity. At times, it is manageable; other times, it can flare up and become more severe. It is difficult to predict when the pain will flare up and what factors trigger these episodes. When this occurs, it is most important to ensure that you see a therapist as soon as possible. The problem is that when a patient is experiencing such pain, it is often nearly impossible to drive to the appointments.
Mobile physical therapy addresses the unpredictable nature of back injuries. By receiving therapy at home or at the office, the patient does not have to worry about dealing with back pain while driving to and from appointments, or having to find someone else to take them. This leads to far fewer missed sessions, and a much better chance of a full recovery in a shorter period of time.
There are several other potential benefits to receiving mobile physical therapy for back pain, these include:
Flexible Scheduling: When receiving therapy at a clinic, you need to schedule appointments during available time slots. With mobile therapy, appointments are scheduled at times that are most convenient for the patient.
Individualized Care: In a clinic setting, the therapist is typically moving from one room to another and looking after multiple patients. When therapy is done at your home or office, you are the only patient, and the therapist can focus all of his/her energy on your treatment.
Environmental Enhancements: When a therapist comes to your home or place of business, he/she can see the area in which you are doing your exercises. If there are any hazards that could pose a risk to injury or opportunities to improve the environment, these modifications can be made with the guidance of the therapist.