Physical therapy is the process of manipulating, stretching and strengthening the body under a practitioner’s care. In general, the goals of back pain exercises and physical therapy are to decrease back pain, increase function, and provide education on a maintenance program to prevent further recurrences.
Physical therapy can also include external treatments to reduce pain, such as applying heat and ice, using ultrasound or iontophoresis, or using targeted electrical stimulation, such as TENS.
In addition to passive therapies, active physical therapy (exercise) is also necessary to rehabilitate the spine. Generally, a patient’s back exercise program should encompass a combination of stretching, strengthening and low-impact aerobic conditioning.
Even patients with a very busy schedule should be able to maintain a moderate back pain exercise regimen that encompasses stretching, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning. These exercises suffice as physical therapy for back pain relief.