Here at the SRA clinic we supply a whole range of treatments for various conditions

Physical Therapy

Patients suffering from most types of low back pain are often referred for physical therapy for four weeks as an initial conservative (nonsurgical) treatment option before considering other more aggressive treatments, including back surgery. The goals of physical therapy are to decrease back pain, increase function, and teach the patient a maintenance program to prevent future back problems.

Common forms of physical therapy include:

Passive physical therapy (modalities), which includes things done to the patient, such as heat application, ice packs and electrical stimulation. For example, a heating pad may be applied to warm up the muscles prior to doing exercising and stretching, and an ice pack may be used afterward to sooth the muscles and soft tissues.

Active physical therapy, which focuses on specific exercises and stretching. For most low back pain treatments, active exercise is the focus of the physical therapy program.

Lumbar spine (low back) stability is largely dependent on the supporting abdominal (stomach) and low back musculature. The abdominal muscles provide the initial stabilizing support through their ability to generate pressure within the abdomen which is exerted posteriorly on the spine, thus providing an anterior support column (from the front of the spine). The low back muscles stabilize the spine from the back and lead to posterior support. Simply stated, the bony spine and discs are surrounded by muscles, and the stronger these specific muscles are, the less stress is placed on the discs and joints of the spine. The patients should develop a ‘belt’ of muscle around their spine.

Physical Therapy Before and After Back Surgery

There is substantial evidence supporting the benefits of physical therapy and exercise both before and after back surgery. The strength and stability that physical therapy provides can significantly shorten a patient’s recovery time after surgery. Physical therapy and exercise is considered an important part of most back pain patients’ treatments, including those undergoing non-surgical and surgical care. This is because patients with low back pain are most likely to recover when the patient is in optimum physical condition. Unless there is a contraindication for physical therapy or a patient requires emergency surgery, most patients are advised to undergo a trial of physical therapy prior to considering back surgery.

 

Massage Therapy

If done correctly, massage therapy can work wonders for people with back pain. It may not always be the best choice, and it may not work for everyone. But most people will get great results if the massage therapist has a good understanding of the human body, muscle imbalances, and how to work with them

Most massage therapists use a variety of techniques during a session, such as energy techniques and stretching, along with traditional massage. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami has coordinated more than 100 studies that document the therapeutic effects of massage. One study on massage and back pain found that massage decreased back pain and depression while also improving sleep and range of motion for most joints.

How does massage therapy provide relief?

You probably have heard that massage improves circulation, right? But exactly what does that mean? Well, throughout our bodies we have a clear fluid that circulates around the body tissues called “lymph.” At the same time, we may have inflammation, which is an immune response to injury or infection that causes pain, redness, heat and swelling in the affected area—in our muscles, around our muscles, even in our joints. When lymph and inflammation start to accumulate in the body, the excess fluid will put pressure on blood vessels and our circulation will decrease, limiting blood flow to that area. As the pressure increases, it irritates the nerves, which will cause you to have pain. By helping the body remove excess lymph and inflammation, massage therapy can make your blood flow better, which will reduce the pressure that is irritating the nerves and get rid of your pain.

And as if that were not enough, massage provides a number of other benefits: relaxing the muscles, improved range of motion, improved sleep and increased production of endorphins, which will improve your mood. Is it any wonder you feel like a million bucks after a massage?

Chiropractic

Chiropractors (practitioners of chiropractic) use their hands to treat disorders of the bones, muscles and joints. Treatments that involve use of the hands in this way are called “manual therapies”.
Chiropractors use a range of techniques, with an emphasis on manipulation of the spine. They may also offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle, and rehabilitation programmes that involve exercises to do in your own time. Some chiropractors may also offer other treatments, such as acupuncture.

During your first appointment with a chiropractor, he or she will ask about your medical history, diet and lifestyle. Your first appointment will last between 30 minutes and one hour. Your chiropractor will need to ask a number of questions to get a whole picture of your current health and circumstances. He or she will also examine you.

Your chiropractor may request that you have an X-ray or a MRI or CT scan to help make a diagnosis.

Once you have agreed on a course of treatment with your chiropractor, each session will last around 20 minutes. The number of sessions you will need and how often you have them will depend on your particular condition.

Your chiropractor will usually treat you while you lie down in various positions. Chiropractors often use a manipulative technique on your spinal column or joints, consisting of short, rapid forceful movements or ‘thrusts’. These are designed to ‘realign’ your spine and correct any problems in your spine that may be related to your condition. This technique may result in a sound you can hear – a click or pop similar to when you stretch your knuckles.

Your chiropractor may carry out treatments using ice, heat, ultrasound and acupuncture. Some chiropractors offer active rehabilitation exercise programmes that focus on improving your fitness and endurance aimed at improving your symptoms.

Your chiropractor may suggest having regular maintenance therapy after your initial problem has got better. Chiropractors claim this reduces the chances of falling ill again. However, there is little good evidence for the effectiveness of this type of treatment.

Your chiropractor will discuss carrying out further investigations or may refer you to your GP if your condition doesn’t improve. Chiropractors don’t prescribe medicines or carry out any surgery.