Many people suffer from lower backaches from injuries and lifestyle problems. They often need physical therapy as an initial nonsurgical treatment plan. Physiotherapy for back pain aims to improve function by reducing discomfort. It also includes an educational aspect for long-term health care. The program teaches clients maintenance techniques to prevent future lower back issues.

Forms of Physiotherapy for Back Pain

Physiotherapy features two primary approaches in treating lower back pain. They are:

1. Active Physical Therapy

Active physiotherapy focuses on specific stretching and exercises that target lower back muscles. The routine can involve several rotations of dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises. These moves strengthen the back muscles while alleviating tension. It can include hamstring stretches and low impact aerobic (cardiovascular) conditioning. Active physical therapy is also essential in rehabilitating the spine. It is actually one of the most common therapies applied in nonsurgical treatment programs.

Lumbar Spine Stabilization 

Lumbar stabilization exercises enhance spine stability, enabling clients to maintain a neutral position. It features various workouts that gradually move from beginner to more advanced levels. For example, it can start from static to dynamic moves. Such a workout involves a change from lying to jumping or standing exercises. It can switch from activities that resist gravity to ones that resist an extra external force. A therapist will help clients learn the proper stabilization technique. Such techniques should maintain the neutral spine position during progression to the next exercise.

Aerobic Conditioning

Aerobic conditioning and stretching moves play essential roles in lumbar stabilization. They provide flexibility that lets muscles assume neutral positions. Additionally, they enable cardiovascular conditioning to improve endurance and body muscle strength. For effective results, physiotherapy approaches generally combine this therapy with lumbar stabilization motions. 

2. Passive Physical Therapy

Passive physical therapy or modality involves professional activities done to the client. It includes electrical stimulation, ice packs, massage, ultrasound, and heat application accessories. Therapists can apply a heating pad to warm the lower back muscles before exercising. Afterward, they can use an ice pack to soothe the soft tissues and muscles and aid in recovery.


Massage incorporates some active physical therapy characteristics, but it falls under passive physiotherapy. Different massage types target various muscles and purposes. Such efforts help relieve tension, swelling, stiffness, spasms, and pain. Massage therapists typically use their hands in these sessions. They may also use tools to rub, knead, and stroke muscles, increasing blood circulation. Massages warm muscles and other soft tissues to improve flexibility.


Ultrasound physiotherapy for back pain uses high-frequency sound waves. The therapist swirls the round-headed probe on the skin as it transmits waves into the lower back muscles. These waves travel deep into the muscles to create gentle heat that pulls blood into the target tissue. The resulting blood circulation removes cell waste from the tissues. It also nourishes and gives oxygen to the treated muscles. While ultrasound physiotherapy may feel tingly for some clients, it effectively relieves muscle spasms, aches, and tightened joints.

Importance of Physiotherapy Exercises in Lower Back Pain Treatment

Exercises enable clients to strengthen their low back and abdominal musculature. These tissues largely support the lumbar spine. The muscles in the lower back stabilize the spine from the back, leading to posterior support. Likewise, the stomach muscles offer the initial stabilizing support. Their ability to produce pressure within the abdomen facilitates stability. This pressure exerts backward on the spine. This action forms an anterior support column from the front of the spine.

Physiotherapy approaches work to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine and its discs. The stronger these tissues are, the less stress the discs and spine joints experience. Hence, physical therapy and maintenance programs aim to develop a muscle belt. This belt around the spine offers long-term lower back pain relief and comfort.

It is always best to see a certified therapist when experiencing lower back pain. The experts can help you identify and properly address specific causes for the aches. Contact a service that offers physiotherapy for back pain to learn more about injury assessment, treatment, and recovery services.

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