If you’re dealing with back pain that has lasted more than six weeks or you’ve sustained a back injury, it may be time to consider back physical therapy. In some cases, physical therapy may be able to offer pain relief, since it focuses on promoting healing, restoring movement and function, and relieving pain. Physical therapy programs used for back injury treatment generally include both active exercises and passive physical therapy. Here’s a closer look at the various modalities of physical therapy that may be used to help treat back injury and pain.

Back Pain Exercises

Active physical therapy includes back pain exercises that are used to help rehabilitate the spine. A good back exercise program should include:

    • Strengthening Exercises – Exercises designed to strengthen the back muscles should be used regularly to help build the core and reduce back pain. However, it’s essential for patients to learn these exercises with the aid of a qualified health professional.
    • Stretching Exercises – Muscles need to be stretched to help treat injuries and pain in the back. Once stretching exercises are taught to patients, they can use them regularly to help alleviate their back pain.

Cold and Heat Therapies

Both cold and heat therapies are often used by physical therapists to help treat back pain. Both therapies have the ability to help reduce inflammation while reducing muscle spasms in the back. However, relief depends on specific patients. While some patients get more relief from heat therapy, others do better with cold therapy. In some cases, the two therapies may be alternated to treat back pain.


Along with exercises and cold and heat therapies, TENS units may be used on patients as a part of physical therapy. The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) unit makes use of electrical stimulation to help override the pain signals sent to your brain. This often helps to block or reduce the sensation of back pain. If the TENS unit proves helpful in the office, patients may even be able to use these units at home as a method of back pain relief.

Other modalities often used by physical therapists to treat back pain and injury include ultrasound, manual therapies, low impact aerobic conditioning, and manual therapies. No matter what modalities are used, it’s important to remember that everyone responds differently to physical therapy. When you visit Twin Cities Chiropractic for physical therapy, our trained staff members will monitor your progress, ensuring that techniques are adjusted to fit your unique needs.

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