Motion Stability's Blog

What are the treatment options for back pain? by charlestlee
Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

Accurate diagnosis of the sources of back pain will indicate the type of treatment you should receive. However, after structural reasons of back pain have been ruled out (such as a herniated disc), the majority of patients are diagnosed with ‘non-specific low back pain’. 

What we find clinically is that traditional interventions such as medications and injections, although perhaps needed and based on a physician’s recommendation, provide short-term relief.

There is growing research and clinical attention on trying to diagnose or sub-group ‘non-specific low back pain’. This can include movement dysfunction, fascial restrictions, muscle control dysfunction, myofascial trigger points, psychosocial variables, pelvic pain, nerve referred pain, or internal/systemic issues such as referred pain from internal organs or hormonal/vitamin deficiencies.

It is important to find a clinician that is able to differentially diagnose the various contributing factors of back pain, and then be able to provide effective treatment for those sources – and then coordinate with other practitioners that can address other needed areas. Especially in chronic low back pain management, a multi-disciplinary team of health practitioners is usually needed.

Can Back Pain Be Prevented? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT
Prevention of back pain is a difficult thing to do because there are so many reasons why it can happen. The prevalence of low back in the general public is astronomical. Lets face it the majority of us will experience back pain sometime in our lives. We should instead focus on how we can reduce the amount, intensity, or duration of recurrent episodes of back pain that affect our quality of life. This can be achieved by seeing the appropriate health practitioners to reduce their pain. From there, proper exercise prescription, education on ergonomic or functional movement, and learning how to take care of your back properly is vital for your long term success.

The Disconnect between Post-partum Women and Low Back Pain by Motion Stability
August 1, 2011, 12:18 am
Filed under: Movement Dysfunction, Pain Sciences, Spine | Tags: , ,

Recently we have seen a growing number of women presenting to our clinic with low back pain and who incidentally have had a baby within the last couple of years. Unfortunately many of these women have been told 1 of 2 things by their medical practitioners: it is an unfortunate side-effect of being post-partum and that it should go away in due time or go try some physical therapy and see if it helps. The problem is that the women is caught between her ObGyn saying it is a post-partum issue and her orthopedist diagnosing her with non-specific back pain, but not attributing it to the fact that she has just had a baby. Oftentimes, the problem goes undiagnosed and women who are even 10yrs post-partum can have dysfunction and pain directly related to the pregnancy numerous years ago.

As physical therapist’s, we have the responsibility of linking these events together and explaining to the women how pregnancy alters the stability and mechanics of her back, abdominal, and pelvic regions. We have the unique  ability to catch these women as they fall through the cracks of traditional medicine and significantly alter how the woman is able to go about her day caring for her newborn pain-free. A knowledgeable clinician will be able to create an individualized treatment program structured around the effects that a pregnancy and delivery can have on the woman.

At our clinic, the therapists are able to use ultrasound (similar to ones at the Ob’s office) to evaluate the muscle integrity of the abdomen and pelvic floor (areas most often affected by pregnancy.) It has become a useful tool to integrate into the treatment programs for these patients. The ultrasound allows the therapist and patient to visualize exactly how the muscles are being used and in what manner. Please check out this article for more information on the use of ultrasound imaging in the PT clinic: