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It is estimated that up to 80% of the adult population experiences lower back pain at some point in their lives. It is not only debilitating but can also be frustrating to deal with as it often interferes with daily activities, affecting work, sleep and overall quality of life. While there are several treatment options available for lower back pain, physical therapy and yoga are two of the most commonly recommended options. However, what happens when physical therapy and yoga don’t help relieve an inflamed low back? In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why physical therapy and yoga may not be effective for treating low back pain. Causes of Lower Back Pain Before we delve into why physical therapy and yoga may not be effective in treating low back pain, it is essential to understand the common causes of lower back pain. Below are some of the most common causes: Inactivity or lack of exercise: One of the most common causes of lower back pain is inactivity or lack of exercise. Sitting for prolonged periods, inactivity, and lack of exercise can cause weak lower back muscles, leading to suffering and discomfort. Poor posture: Poor posture is another common cause of lower back pain. Poor posture can lead to muscle imbalances, strains, and sprains that can cause pain and discomfort. Muscle strains and sprains: Muscle strains and sprains can occur from sudden movements, lifting heavy objects, or sports-related activities. Muscle strains and sprains can cause significant pain and discomfort, affecting daily activities. Disc problems: Disc problems can also cause lower back pain. Disc herniation or a bulging disc can put pressure on the nerves in the lower back, causing inflammation and discomfort. Arthritis: Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the lower back. Arthritis in the lower back can cause stiffness and aching, making it difficult to move. How Physical Therapy and Yoga Treat Lower Back Pain Physical therapy and yoga are two of the most common treatment options for lower back pain. They aim to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility in the lower back muscles. Physical therapy exercises may include stretches, resistance exercises, and mobilization techniques to reduce suffering and improve function. Similarly, yoga poses can help to stretch and strengthen the lower back muscles, leading to reduced inflammation and discomfort. Benefits of Physical Therapy and Yoga for Low Back Muscles: Physical therapy and yoga have several benefits for the lower back muscles. These benefits include (but not limited too): Improved flexibility Improved strength Improved mobility Improved posture Decreased inflammation Decreased stiffness Decreased sensitivity Many patients DO receive great outcomes for their lower back pain from yoga and physical therapy. However, there are still a plentiful amount who don’t. If you are reading this article there is a good chance you are one of those patients who are still suffering and don’t know what to do. You may have been told surgery is now your only option. You may not want to believe that. Reasons Why Physical Therapy and Yoga Might Not Work While physical therapy and yoga can be effective in treating low back pain, they may not be effective for everyone. Below are some of the reasons why physical therapy and yoga may not be effective: Misdiagnosis Of the Underlying Cause One of the most common reasons why physical therapy and yoga may not be effective in treating low back pain is the misdiagnosis of the underlying cause. Treating the wrong underlying cause can lead to further aggravation and worsening of the injuries. Lack of Individualized Treatment Another reason why physical therapy and yoga may not be effective in treating lower back pain is the lack of individualized treatment. Every individual’s body is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Physical therapy and yoga exercises must be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and requirements. A cookie-cutter approach may not be effective in treating low back pain. Failure to Address Lifestyle Factors Lifestyle factors can play a significant role in the development of lower back pain. Failure to address these lifestyle factors can result in the ineffective treatment of lower back discomfort. Some of the lifestyle factors that contribute include poor posture, smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise. Addressing these lifestyle factors can help to reduce lower back suffering and prevent future occurrences. Inadequate or Inconsistent Treatment Inadequate or inconsistent treatment can also lead to ineffective treatment of lower back pain. Consistent physical therapy and yoga practice are required to see significant improvements. Inadequate or inconsistent treatment can result in the progression of pain and discomfort. Variability in Physical Therapists No physical therapist is exactly the same. As a patient you could see two different physical therapists. Each PT will receive the same notes and diagnosis from your medical doctor. You could then receive two completely different exercise regimens from the two physical therapists! What works for one patient does not guarantee results for another. Alternative Treatments for Low Back Pain If physical therapy and yoga are not effective in treating low back pain, there are several alternative treatments available. Below are some of the alternative treatments: Traditional Alternative Methods to PT and Yoga for Lower Back Pain Chiropractic care: Chiropractic care involves the use of spinal manipulations to relieve discomfort and discomfort. Chiropractic care can help to improve mobility, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Massage therapy: Massage therapy can help to reduce achiness and discomfort by promoting blood flow and relaxation. Massage therapy can also help to improve flexibility and mobility in the lower back muscles. Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the use of small needles to stimulate specific points in the body to relieve pain and discomfort. Acupuncture can help to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Pain medication: NSAIDS can help to relieve stiffness and discomfort associated with low back pain. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any NSAIDS. Surgery: In severe cases of low back pain, surgery may be required to relieve achiness and discomfort. However, surgery is typically considered a last resort and should only be considered after all other treatment options have been exhausted. Regenerative Medicine: PRP injections, prolotherapy and stem cells can be a great alternative to surgery if you’ve already tried PT and yoga. These therapies can also improve physical therapy outcomes if done timely and correctly. This makes them a great ally for each other. Conclusion Lower back pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. While physical therapy and yoga are two of the most commonly recommended treatment options, they may not be effective in treating low back pain for everyone. Misdiagnosis of the underlying cause, lack of individualized treatment, failure to address lifestyle factors, variability in physical therapists and inadequate or inconsistent treatment are some of the reasons why physical therapy and yoga may not be effective in treating low back pain. Alternative treatments such as chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, pain medication, and surgery are available for individuals who do not see significant improvements with physical therapy and yoga. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment options for low back pain. Learn More About Alternative Ways to Alleviate Your Pain Get back to doing the things you love, faster & without surgery. Request an Appointment Today!