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Back injuries are a common and often debilitating issue affecting individuals of all ages and lifestyles. These injuries can arise from various causes, including accidents, sports activities, poor posture, or the natural aging process. Effective rehabilitation is essential for recovery, and Breakthru Physical Therapy provides specialized care to help patients across New Jersey recover from back injuries and regain their quality of life. Here’s a closer look at three of the most common back injuries and the role of physical therapy in rehabilitation.

  • Herniated Disc

Physical Therapy After Back Injury in New JerseyA herniated disc occurs when a spinal disc’s soft, gel-like center pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. Often caused by aging-related wear and tear, sudden trauma, or improper lifting techniques, herniated discs can compress nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the back and legs, often presenting as sciatica.

Symptoms:

  • Sharp pain in the back or legs
  • Numbness and tingling in the affected areas
  • Muscle weakness

Role of Physical Therapy:

  • Pain Management: Ice therapy, heat therapy, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Restoring Mobility: Gentle stretching and mobilization exercises are introduced to improve flexibility and reduce stiffness.
  • Strengthening Exercises: A progressive strengthening program targets the core and back muscles, helping to stabilize the spine.
  • Education and Prevention: Patients are taught proper techniques for daily activities, posture, and body mechanics to avoid further injury.
  • Muscle Strain

Muscle strains occur when muscles or tendons in the back are overstretched or torn, usually due to overexertion or sudden movements.

Symptoms:

  • Pain and stiffness in the affected area
  • Muscle spasms
  • Localized pain that can be aggravated by movement

Role of Physical Therapy:

  • Pain Relief: Modalities such as manual therapy, ice, and heat applications reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Restoring Function: Stretching and mobilization exercises improve flexibility and help restore normal function.
  • Strengthening: Targeted exercises strengthen the back and core muscles, preventing future strains.
  • Education: Patients learn proper lifting techniques and posture corrections to avoid re-injury.
  • Sciatica

Sciatica is characterized by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. It is often caused by a herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis compressing part of the nerve.

Symptoms:

  • Sharp, shooting pain that radiates from the lower back to the legs
  • Numbness and tingling in the affected leg
  • Muscle weakness

Role of Physical Therapy:

  • Pain Reduction: Techniques such as ice/heat therapy, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation help manage pain.
  • Increasing Mobility: Stretching and flexibility exercises improve the range of motion in the lower back and legs.
  • Strengthening: Strengthening exercises for the back, core, and leg muscles help support the spine and alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Functional Training: Patients are guided through exercises that mimic real-life activities to ensure a safe return to daily activities.
  • Preventive Education: Patients receive education on proper posture, body mechanics, and lifestyle modifications to prevent future sciatica episodes.

Get Back on Track!

Back injuries can significantly impact your quality of life, but with the right physical therapy, you can regain mobility, reduce pain, and strengthen your back muscles to prevent future injuries. Breakthru Physical Therapy provides high-quality, patient-centered care to help you recover and improve your well-being. If you’re dealing with a back injury in New Jersey, contact us today to start your journey to recovery.

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