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Low Back Pain and Sciatica and Physical Therapy

Read more about Physical Therapy.


A common treatment for back pain is physical therapy. This technique is focused on increasing mobility and natural motion so that back muscles are not strained and misplaced.

Physical Therapy used to develop, maintain and restore mobility and natural motion so that muscles are not strained and/or misplaced. Aging, injury, disease, surgery and environmental factors are all possible reasons for a need of physical therapy on your back (or for other conditions as well). Physical Therapy should be considered prior to more aggressive measures such as pharmaceutical drugs and surgery.

Effect of Physical Therapy on Low Back Pain and Sciatica

In order to properly treat your particular low back pain and/or sciatica, the physical therapist will need to determine the cause(s) of your pain. To do this, s/he will ask you questions about problems with posture, flexibility, strength, joint mobility, and movement. They will try to understand how you use your body at work, home, during sports, and at leisure.3

The American Association of Physical Therapists states that, "Because physical therapists receive specialized training in a variety of sciences – physics, human anatomy, kinesiology (human movement), to name a few– they understand how the body works and how to get you moving again. They know how to manage all four of the body’s major systems – musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary (skin) – to restore and maximize mobility."3

The following devices/techniques might be used:

Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment

A physical therapy practitioner might well practice under a speciality such as cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurologic, orthopaedic. sports or pediatrics to name a few. Different ways of manually manipulating muscles, joints, bones and ligaments will vary depending on the injury or other bodily need.


  1. Goldberg, Burton; Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition
    1. The Back Story, Natural Solutions, December 2009
    2., 2/24/10