Lower back pain plagues Americans to the extent that 80% will suffer from it at some time in their lives. It is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor. For many, the problem is more than a passing incident; they need physiotherapy. Physiotherapy of different types can be used to treat lower back pain. Acupuncture is fast becoming an important method for the relief of such pain. The doctor has the patient lie face-down and inserts the acupuncture needles across the back. The doctor then finishes the procedure for lower back pain. Pain relief after a series of treatments usually lasts months. Massage is also used for lower back pain. The massage used must be done by someone well-versed in the treatment of lower back pain. A massage done by an untrained person may do more harm than good. These methods are called passive therapies, or modalities. They are done to the patient and not by the patient. There are other modalities that are commonly used. Heat and ice packs are a well-known form of passive physiotherapy. They can be used separately, or they can be used alternately by a person who is suffering from acute lower back pain. A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) can be used as another modality for lower back pain. The patient will feel the sensation of the stimulator instead of his pain. If the TENS unit seems to work well for him, he will be sent home with one to use at his convenience. Ultrasound is especially useful as a passive therapy for anyone with acute lower back pain. It delivers heat deep into the muscles of the lower back. This not only relieves pain. It can also speed healing. Back exercises may be assigned by a physiotherapist. These exercises will help with lower back pain if one does them correctly and faithfully. The only exception is if the back is in an acute condition requiring emergency care or surgery. The exercises that will help with lower back pain the most will be assigned and supervised by a physiotherapist. They may be done at home, but it will be necessary to follow instructions and check in frequently. These exercises include ones for lower back pain that stretch or extend the back and ones that strengthen it. One is an exercise where one lies prone and moves as if swimming. This protects the back while giving the surrounding muscles a workout. Lower back pain exercises called flexion exercises strengthen the midsection to provide support for the back. If the lower back pain is reduced when one sits, these exercises are important. One is a knee-to-chest exercise. Aerobic exercise such as walking is excellent for reducing and preventing lower back pain as well. Massage and acupuncture can be counted on to relieve pain for most patients. Exercises can make the back stronger to both relieve and prevent lower back pain. Any physiotherapy that can help relieve lower back pain will help millions of people.
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