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Lower Back Pain in Montclair, NJ

If you live in Montclair and are suffering from lower back pain, the expert physical therapists of Performance Rehabilitation would like to help. We offer the latest treatments for lumbar back pain at our two convenient offices in Totowa and Lafayette Township.

What is Lower Back Pain?

An injury or irritation involving any of the complex structures making up the back can result in lower back pain. In many cases, this pain radiates to other parts of the body, including the legs. Structural issues with the spine may also trigger muscle spasms in the lumbar portion of your back. Muscle spasms may sound relatively insignificant, however, they can cause debilitating pain.

A number of factors can lead to lower back pain, including:

  • Arthritic changes of the spine
  • Degeneration of the intervertebral discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Poor posture
  • A lack of core muscle support and strength.
  • Irritation of the spinal nerves
  • Sitting or lifting improperly

Lower back pain is a very common condition that can vary widely in the severity of symptoms and level of pain. For example, a simple muscle strain may cause such excruciating pain that you end up in the ER while a degenerating disc may only cause mild discomfort.

What are the Causes of Lower Back Pain?

The most common causes of lower back pain include strains, sprains or other injuries to the structures of the back, including:

  • Spinal instability due to microfractures involving the vertebrae
  • Strains and sprains involving the muscles and ligaments supporting the spine
  • Spinal stenosis or a herniated disc that places pressure on nerve roots

Osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear on the joints as we get older, can also cause lower back pain. Arthritis can cause the joints of the back to feel stiff and sore. It can also cause structural changes to the back that can create pressure on nerve roots. Osteoarthritis affecting the hips or knees can cause you to limp or otherwise alter your gait. This, in turn, can lead to lower back pain.

What are the Symptoms of Lower Back Pain?

Back pain can present with a number of different symptoms, including:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Dull or achy pain
  • Difficulty moving that may affect your ability to walk or stand
  • Soreness or tenderness in the affected area
  • Severe pain or spasms that start immediately after lifting a heavy object or moving suddenly
  • Pain radiating to your upper thighs or buttocks or that moves from your side to the groin

How is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed?

The causes of lower back pain are often complex. The physical therapists of Performance Rehabilitation work with each patient to develop a diagnosis of what is causing the pain. Your input and participation are valued and encouraged throughout the process. Once certain issues, such as cancer, are ruled out as potential causes of your pain, the therapist will test your mobility through an interactive examination. You will be guided through a series of movements and tests while the physical therapist applies various techniques to determine if your symptoms improve, get worse or stay the same. This type of systematic exam is essential in identifying the source of your pain and determining the proper course of treatment. We will review any X-rays, MRIs or other relevant tests to gain insight into your condition; however, our therapists also rely on your clinical symptoms and how those symptoms respond to different techniques attempted during your sessions.

How is Lower Back Pain Treated at Performance Rehabilitation?

In many cases, seeing an orthopedic manual therapist when you first experience back pain may eliminate the need for expensive tests and even surgery. At Performance Rehabilitation, our physical therapists use evidence-based practice techniques to identify and group back pain patients include the following categories:

  • Stabilization
  • Mobilization
  • Movement preference, including flexion, traction, extension and side-glides

Our therapists then recommend a treatment regimen utilizing a variety of techniques, including nerve glides, stretching, mobilization and manipulation, neuromuscular re-education and core stabilization to alleviate your symptoms. We also offer our patients the GravityFit whole body exercise system that is designed to strengthen the core muscles that support the entire body. Originally developed for the space program, GravityFit can help you build a stronger foundation that will allow you to feel and move better and prevent injury. If your condition requires surgery, we are familiar and proficient in the latest surgical techniques for back pain. Our physical therapists will also collaborate with your surgeon to develop a post-surgery therapy regimen to ensure the best possible outcome.

If you live in Montclair and are tired of living with lower back pain, contact Performance Rehabilitation today to schedule a consultation.