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Back Pain Treatment in Massachusetts

Back Pain Treatment

Key Back Pain Facts

  • Back pain can come from many causes, but most diagnoses are for "non-specific low back pain."
  • Back pain comes and goes, and this tricks most people into thinking that their back pain healed on its own.
  • In fact, most health care costs and disability from back pain come from recurring flare-ups. Treating back pain effectively means preventing the future flare-ups.
  • Back pain is not benign, and it does not go away on its own. After one year, one-half to two-thirds of adults still experience flare-ups and some level of disability.1-3
  • Physical therapy identifies and treats the causes of "non-specific" low back pain to reduce pain now, reduce flare-ups, and reduce disability.
  • Physical therapy works best when patients start right away. Patients who wait even two weeks to begin physical therapy spend thousands more in long-term healthcare costs and are much more likely to end up with x-rays, MRIs, and surgeries.4,5
  • Medical billing records show that most patients receive only passive physical therapy at the start of low back pain. Guidelines recommend an active approach from day one. Patients who receive early, active physical therapy spend less on healthcare and are less likely to need surgery later in life.6

Common Symptoms in Low Back Pain

Not all these symptoms need to be present to have low back pain. Different symptoms below are suggestive of different causes for the dysfunction. These symptoms are common problems associated with herniated discs, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, deconditioning syndrome, and degenerative disc disease.

  • Stiffness and tightness in the low back
  • Muscle tenderness and spasms
  • Pain radiating from the buttocks, down into the back of the leg and sometimes into the feet
  • Shooting pain in the legs, numbness, and burning pain
  • Knot or tight spot in a muscle or muscles
  • Muscle weakness

Step Ahead's Back Pain Solution

  • Thorough analysis to identify the sources of your condition
  • Manual therapy
  • Modalities and treatments to resolve pain as quickly as possible
  • Early active treatments that are shown to get better results than being too passive
  • One-to-one attention from a licensed physical therapist throughout each visit
  • Advice on how to stay active while not aggravating the condition. Staying active gets much better results than resting until the pain goes away.
  • Strengthening and conditioning for the back muscles and other postural muscles
  • Posture evaluation and retraining
  • Ergonomic and equipment evaluation and consultation. For example: teaching patients about the best shoes for their condition, evaluating and optimizing movements at work, evaluation of sports techniques, etc.
  • Teaching patients home exercises and other strategies to empower them to manage their condition as independently as possible for life.

Want to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for lower back pain? Contact Us Today at Step Ahead Physical Therapy for more information and be sure to schedule an initial consultation.


  1. Costa Lda C, Maher C, McAuley J, et al. Prognosis for patients with chronic low back pain: inception cohort study. BMJ. 2009; 339: b3829.
  2. Henschke N, Maher C, Refshauge K, et al. Prognosis in patients with recent onset low back pain in Australian primary care: inception cohort study. BMJ. 2008; 337: a171.
  3. Stanton T, Henschke N, Maher C, et al. After an episode of acute low back pain, recurrence is unpredictable and not as common as previously thought. Spine. 2008: 33: 2923-28.
  4. Fritz J, Childs J, Wainner R, Flynn T. Primary care referral of patients with low back pain to physical therapy: impact on future health care utilization and costs. Spine. 2012; 37 (25): 2114-21.
  5. Campian M, Hedin T, Hansen P, et al. Rapid access to physical therapy for low back pain: a continuous quality improvement project. Presented at: Annual Meeting of the Association of Academic Physiatrists. 2017; Sacramento, CA, USA.
  6. Fritz J, Childs J, Wainner R, Flynn T. Primary care referral of patients with low back pain to physical therapy: impact on future health care utilization and costs. Spine. 2012; 37 (25): 2114-21.

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