How Active and Passive Physical Therapy Treatment Can Improve Back Pain

Back pain is among the most common chronic conditions, affecting millions daily. It can range from mild discomfort to severe and debilitating pain, often affecting our ability to move and carry out everyday activities.

Today, some of the most common causes of back pain include poor posture, muscle imbalances, and overuse injuries. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce and manage back pain, including physical therapy.

If you are in Florida and struggling with back pain, an important step is to consult with a licensed professional. For example, at our USA Sports physical therapy clinic in Ft. Lauderdale, our team of professionals can evaluate your condition and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs. 

Depending on the cause and severity of your back pain, two main types of physical therapy can be used: active and passive treatments.

Here’s all you need to know about these two types of physical therapy for back pain and how they can help you find relief.

What Physical Therapy Treatments Are Available?

Physical therapy is a form of medical care that uses movement and exercises to help reduce pain, improve physical functioning, restore mobility, and promote overall health. It can also be used to prevent future injuries or problems.

Some of the most common reasons people seek physical therapy are to treat back pain, neck pain, joint stiffness, and other conditions that cause chronic or acute discomfort.

Physical therapy treatments vary greatly depending on the individual’s needs and goals. Some treatments may include joint mobilization, soft tissue massage, ultrasound therapy, electrical stimulation, and therapeutic exercises.

For those with joint or muscle pain, physical therapists may use manual manipulation techniques to improve flexibility and range of motion. This includes stretching, joint mobilization, and soft tissue massage. Other treatments, such as ultrasound therapy or electrical stimulation, can be used to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.

Therapeutic exercises are also commonly used in physical therapy. These exercises focus on strengthening muscles and improving overall posture. Therapists will often recommend specific exercise programs tailored to the individual’s needs and any activities that should be avoided due to injury or other problems.

In addition to these treatments, a USA Sports physical therapist doctor in Ft. Lauderdale or any of our other locations may advise patients on lifestyle changes that can help improve overall health and promote healing. This may include advice on nutrition, posture, stress management, and proper ergonomics when using computers or other equipment. Physical therapists can also educate patients and their families on fall prevention strategies and managing chronic pain.

Regarding back pain, however, treatments are often categorized into two main groups: passive therapy and active therapy.

Benefits of Passive Physical Therapy

Passive physical therapy refers to techniques that the therapist performs on the patient. This can include manipulation of joints, massage, and manual stretching.

Passive therapy is often used to reduce pain caused by inflammation or muscle spasms, and it can also improve the range of motion and blood flow to injured areas. For back injuries, passive therapy can help reduce pain in the lower back and hips.

Overall, the benefits of passive physical therapy may include the following:

– Reduced pain and inflammation

– Improved range of motion

– Increased muscle strength and flexibility

– Improved circulation

– Enhanced healing process for injuries

Benefits of Active Physical Therapy

Active physical therapy is a term used to describe any exercise prescribed by a physical therapist to help improve mobility, flexibility, and strength. In contrast to passive forms of treatment, active therapy relies on the patient’s voluntary participation in exercises or stretches.

Forms of active physical therapy include aerobic or cardiovascular exercises, resistance training to build strength and endurance, stretching and flexibility exercises, balance, coordination, and posture activities.

Over time, the benefits of active physical therapy may include the following:

– Improved strength, endurance, and mobility

– Reduced pain or discomfort associated with injuries

– Increased ability to perform daily activities

– Greater joint stability and flexibility

– Reduced risk of future injury or reoccurrence of prior conditions

– Improved posture and balance

– Enhanced overall fitness level

What Is Physical Therapy Like?

Physical therapy typically begins with an initial evaluation of your condition, medical history, and overall physical fitness. The therapist will evaluate your range of motion, strength, posture, and alignment during this assessment. The therapist will also discuss your treatment goals to determine a customized plan that fits your needs.

The next step is to begin the actual physical therapy treatments, which may include active or passive exercises, such as stretches, manual manipulation/mobilization techniques, and other modalities, such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation. Your therapist will work with you on proper form and technique during each session to ensure the safe execution of your individualized program. They might also demonstrate home exercises for you to do when not in their care so that you can continue to make progress.

Additionally, your therapist will provide education regarding the injury and any home modifications you may need to make to get back to activities of daily living. It is important that you understand the reasons for doing certain exercises and how to properly execute them so that you can continue making progress even when not in therapy sessions.

How To Get Started With Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Physical therapy is a great option if back pain prevents you from living the active life you want. Contact USA Sports Therapy today to speak to a licensed physical therapist doctor in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami and get on the path to healing and getting back to full activities.

We specialize in individualized treatment, which may include both passive and active forms of therapy. Our physical therapy clinics in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami offer plans explicitly tailored to your needs. You can be confident that we will create a plan to get you back to feeling better quickly and safely.

About Dr. Cierra Smith

About Dr. Cierra Smith

Dr. Cierra Smith received her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Prior to her physical therapy education, Dr. Smith attended Florida State University, where she received her degree in exercise physiology. Since the start of her career, Dr. Smith has primarily worked in outpatient orthopedics, working with a wide variety of patients from all activity levels.

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About Dr. Cierra Smith

About Dr. Cierra Smith

Dr. Cierra Smith received her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Prior to her physical therapy education, Dr. Smith attended Florida State University, where she received her degree in exercise physiology. Since the start of her career, Dr. Smith has primarily worked in outpatient orthopedics, working with a wide variety of patients from all activity levels.

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Dr. Cierra Smith, PT

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