low back pain

Ptandsportstherapy > low back pain

Frequently Asked Questions on Low Back Pain

Low back pain is the most common diagnosis we see in the clinic. Up to 80% of the population will experience low back pain serious enough to seek medical attention at some point in their lives. But, as you will see with our evidence-based FAQ section here, low back pain is not a life sentence. You can and will feel better and move better.

Should I rest when I get low back pain?

NO! The evidence is clear that bed rest is not the answer for musculoskeletal injuries or chronic pain. In fact, the RICE acronym for acute injuries is going out of favor. In the case of low back pain, gentle mobility exercises that gradually lead into some strengthening is the key to getting out of pain. Lastly, actually practicing the movement, position, or activity that led to your pain is the final component to overcoming pain.

Do I need to get imaging with acute low back pain?

No.Imaging rarely correlates to pain. And we don’t treat the X-ray or MRI in the clinic; we treat you, the person. Your clinical presentation (a.k.a., how you are feeling and moving your first day in the clinic) is much more important to your outcome than what an image shows. In fact, the research time and time again shows little to no correlation between how much pain or decreased function someone presents with in person.

My “bad posture” is the cause of my pain, isn’t it?

Not exactly. Nothing in the literature directly links “bad” posture to pain. There is a missing ingredient, which can be anything ranging from excessive load with “bad posture,” repetitive motion with “bad posture,” or even just having pain to begin with, so your body associates “bad posture” with pain. Is posture something we address in the clinic? Of course, but there is much more to it than that.

I’ve done a lot of stretching, but my back pain won’t go away. Why is that?

Often, lack of mobility is not the only answer to your problem. On the flip side, lack of stability or strength alone is not the only answer. Every patient that comes into our clinic has multiple factors leading to his or her pain. Our job as Doctors of Physical Therapy is to prioritize what is causing your pain. That means we place an emphasis on strength or mobility, but we do not ignore other factors contributing to your pain. Sometimes our bodies just crave movement, and we think that stretching is the answer because it feels good in the short term, but the answer is that we actually need more stability or strength. So how are you to know which is right for you? By letting us perform a thorough evaluation at your first visit.

So, I have low back pain, and I know I need physical therapy. I need to go see a medical doctor first to get a prescription, right?

No, you do not. In the state of Florida, we have direct access laws that allow you go to directly to a Doctor of Physical Therapy to start your treatment. Doctors of Physical Therapy have 4-year bachelor’s degree followed by a 3-year graduate program where we are educated and trained to diagnose and treat any musculoskeletal disorder. We are also trained to recognize when someone is not appropriate for physical therapy and needs to seek attention from a medical doctor. On top of that, patients with low back pain who go to a physical therapist first (and do not have unnecessary imaging) save approximately $4800 per plan of care.

*This is an appointment request and not a scheduled appointment. The office will call to schedule the appointment in accordance with the other appointments.

Movement is key. Our job is to help you feel better, move better, and get back to doing the things you love. Do not let pain control your life. We’re here to help.