PARAMUS, N.J. -- Currently the fifth most common reason for a doctor's visit, lower back pain affects a quarter of the U.S. population. Neck pain can be just as prevalent; between 30-50 percent of adults have experienced some form of discomfort in the last year. When this pain strikes, what's one to do? It turns out, lying down and waiting for pain to pass isn't always the best option.
Studies have shown that acquiescing to pain and reducing mobility may actually cause more harm than good in overall wellness. "If people easily give in to pain by avoiding movements, activities or motions due to fear, they are at a higher risk for lower back or neck pain becoming a chronic problem," said Scott Siverling, PT, OCS; manager at HSS Rehabilitation in Paramus. "When someone faces a pain episode, I recommend staying active, pursuing motions or exercises that do not elevate the levels of pain and avoiding bedrest."
In addition to maintaining an active lifestyle in the face of pain, spinal manipulation, exercise therapy and education have all been proven to alleviate lower back pain. For those with neck pain, manual and exercise therapy, with strength training and education, can be useful to reduce discomfort and promote healing.
During warmer months, many people become more active and engage in new activities or exercise regimens. While exercising, developing an injury that causes chronic pain is possible. "Occasionally, people experience neck or lower back pain which can be debilitating and inhibit us from living our usual daily lives," said Siverling. "These common bouts of pain can be easily remedied by a physical therapist, who can provide hands-on care, exercises and information on how to treat yourself and minimize the amount of time you are in pain."
In New Jersey, patients can receive a detailed assessment of their pain from a physical therapist, without a doctor’s prescription, through a process known as direct access. Through direct access at HSS Rehabilitation Paramus, patients can receive a month of physical therapy or 10 visits, whichever occurs first. "This is often enough time to relieve you of your symptoms and return you to your active and competitive lifestyle," said Siverling.
For more information on HSS Rehabilitation Paramus, click here.