Skip to content

Back Pain Health Center

Select An Article

Physical Therapy and Pain Management

Font Size

Sometimes pain relief can be accomplished through physical therapy. Physical therapy (PT) involves treatments that focus on prevention and management of injuries or disabilities. PT helps to relieve pain, promote healing, and restore function and movement.

PT is practiced by a professionally trained physical therapist. A physical therapist is a specialist skilled and educated specifically in evaluation and conservative management, including rehabilitation, of orthopaedic, neurologic, and cardiovascular conditions..

Recommended Related to Back Pain

Understanding Spinal Disk Problems -- Diagnosis & Treatment

Because there are many causes of back pain, it is important for your doctor to do a thorough history and physical examination to determine if a spinal disk problem is the root of your back pain. A herniated or slipped disk may press on the nerves coming out from the spinal cord, and it may show up in a targeted neurological exam. Your doctor will check your reflexes, muscle strength, and sensation for abnormalities or changes, especially those that involve the lower extremities. A spinal X-ray may...

Read the Understanding Spinal Disk Problems -- Diagnosis & Treatment article > >

How Is Physical Therapy Used to Treat Pain?

A therapist may focus on decreasing pain with either passive or active therapy. Examples of passive physical therapy include:

Examples of active physical therapy include:

  • Movement based activities, including stretching and range of motion exercises
  • Specific strengthening exercises
  • Pain relief exercises
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning

Points to Consider About Physical Therapy and Pain

An important aspect to keep in mind about physical therapy and pain relief is that each individual may respond differently to therapy. People have different types of bodies, different patterns of movement, and different habits. Physical therapists and their trained staff can monitor each individual and attempt to correct improper habits and movement patterns.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Ross Brakeville, DPT on January 26, 2015
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Woman holding lower back
Or is it another form of back pain?
Hand on back
See the myths vs. the facts.
Woman doing pilates
Good and bad exercises.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Use it to manage your pain.
Man with enhanced spinal column, rear view
pain in brain and nerves
Chronic Pain Healtcheck
Health Check
break at desk
Woman holding lower back
Weight Loss Surgery
lumbar spine
back pain