Are you currently struggling with back pain? If so, you’re not alone. Eight out of ten people will experience back pain at some point during their lives.
There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing back pain, including a tear to your annulus, a portion of the spinal discs that connects each of your vertebrae together and wraps around the soft inner portion of the disc for protection.
If you’ve recently experienced an annular tear and are having a hard time finding relief, physical therapy could be very beneficial to you.
Read on to learn seven reasons why you should to consider going to physical therapy.
What is an Annular Tear?
Before we get into the specific benefits of physical therapy for annular tears, let’s go over this injury in more detail.
An annular tear is a type of tear that affects the ligaments connecting your vertebrae to the discs in your spine. These ligaments surround the nucleus of each disc and are comprised of a strong ring of fibers. These fibers are known as the annulus fibrosus.
When a tear occurs in the annulus fibrosus, it’s called an annular tear. The outer portion of the annular fibrosus contains many nerve fibers. Because of this, annular tears can be very painful.
They are most often caused by normal degeneration and stress on the spine, but can also be caused by a traumatic event such as an automobile accident or sports injury.
Symptoms of an Annular Tear
Some common annular tear symptoms include:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Sciatic pain
- A weakening of the muscles in the arms, legs, back, or neck
- Flexibility limitations
- Tingling or numbness in the legs or arms
- A burning sensation in the spine or sciatic nerve
Annular tears are often associated with other spine conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease and sciatic pain.
Why Go to Physical Therapy for an Annular Tear?
If you’re dealing with an annular tear, physical therapy is one of the best things you can do to expedite the healing process and ensure everything heals correctly. Therapy makes your muscles stronger, helping to relive some of the stress on the spine by acting as a brace. Pt also helps enhance blood flow to the damaged area and corrects alignment of the spine.
Here are seven of the greatest benefits that come with seeing a physical therapist:
1. Treat the Problem, Not Just the Symptoms
A physical therapist also helps you get to the root of your problem.
They won’t just write you a prescription and send you on your way. They’ll figure out exactly what’s causing your pain and put together an individualized plan that will get rid of the issue and prevent it from coming back in the future.
A great physical therapist will teach you how to maintain your progress and give you exercises to continue a healthy, strong lifestyle.
2. Reduced Need for Surgery
Nobody wants to go through back surgery. While it’s sometimes necessary to treat annular tears and other conditions, it’s generally best to leave back surgery as a last resort.
When you work with a physical therapist, you can often eliminate the need for surgery. 95% of the patients we see at Comprehensive Spine Institute get better with conservative care. This is especially true if you start working with them early on and are consistent with your appointments and at-home exercises.
3. Improved Mobility
When you go to physical therapy on a regular basis, you’ll likely find that your flexibility and mobility improve dramatically.
When you increase your mobility and flexibility, you’ll likely find that you can return to activities that you had to give up while you were injured.
You’ll also have an easier time performing everyday tasks like putting away groceries, bending over to pick things up, and climbing the stairs.
4. Enhanced Recovery
Sometimes, annular tears heal themselves on their own. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek any professional help while you recover, though.
When you work with a physical therapist, you can often expedite the healing process. A physical therapist can also help to ensure that your annular tear heals properly, preventing future issues.
5. Improved Quality of Life
Seeing a physical therapist on a consistent basis can significantly reduce your level of pain. This, in turn, can enhance your quality of life dramatically.
A physical therapist can also help you maintain your independence as you recover from your injury (and after your injury is healed).
If you’re consistent with your appointments and exercises, you’ll be able to do more for yourself.
6. Prevent Future Injuries
When you work with a physical therapist, you learn exercises that can help you strengthen your spine and improve your balance. This is extremely important in helping you protect yourself future injuries. Who doesn’t want to be more resilient, especially as they’re getting older?
7. Medication-Free Pain Management
If you see a traditional medical doctor for help with your back pain, there’s a good chance you’ll be prescribed painkillers.
Painkillers can provide a short-term solution, but they can also be habit-forming and come with a wide range of side effects.
When you work with a physical therapist, you will learn stretches and exercises that help to minimize your pain without the need for medication.
Physical therapists often utilize other therapies, like manual adjustment, massage, and ultrasound therapy, to provide additional relief.
See a Physical Therapist Today
As you can see, there are definite benefits to seeing a physical therapist for help recovering from your annular tear.
A physical therapist can help you recover faster, get to the root of your problem, and prevent future injuries from occurring.
Are you ready to see a physical therapist? Do you live in or around the Clearwater, Florida area? If so, come see us at Comprehensive Spine Institute.
Schedule an appointment with us today for a consultation or to learn more about our services.