Back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work days 一 and one of the main causes of disability 一 in America. Back pain can infiltrate every aspect of your life. It can impact your ability to work, to drive, to perform basic hygiene (such as bending down to put on clean socks), and even perform tasks around the house.
Here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Center, Dr. Dustin Hamoy, DPT, MTC, DNC, CKTP, CWCHP offers many cutting-edge treatments for back pain, including multiwave locked system (MLS) laser therapy and physical therapy.
Below, we zero in on a specific type of physical therapy 一 occupational therapy 一 and how it can help with your back pain.
What is occupational therapy?
At first glance, the phrase “occupational therapy" may seem like it's only related to work or a job. In a sense, occupational therapy does relate to work, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your career.
Occupational therapy focuses on any of your everyday activities — the activities that occupy your time. Your daily occupations include everything from playing tennis with your friends to walking your dog to caring for your toddler at home. It does also include work-related tasks.
If you sustained an injury or if you’re recovering from an accident, you find it difficult to engage in these daily activities at home or at work. That’s where occupational therapy comes into the picture. Occupational therapy is a type of physical therapy that incorporates your daily occupations and activities into your individualized rehabilitation process.
How does occupational therapy help with back pain?
During an occupational therapy session, our team implements specific treatments 一 and recommended lifestyle changes 一 to help optimize functional activities. When it comes to back pain, treatment often focuses on:
- Proper body mechanics
- Energy conservation methods, such as practicing good posture and resting before you’re tired
- Maintaining (or rebuilding) independence
- Techniques and strategies to help you participate in the everyday activities that are important to you
- Techniques and strategies to apply while working
- Learning to identify signs of exertion
In a review published in Pain Research and Management, researchers noted that occupational therapy provided immense benefits in helping people with chronic back pain regain more functionality. Not only does this mean you can engage in meaningful or everyday activities, but it also means that you can return to work sooner and safely. This is especially helpful if your back pain interferes with your ability to perform tasks at work.
They also noted, though, that this has a profound impact on pain management. Occupational therapy helps improve your ability to perform tasks, but it also helps reduce spikes in pain.
In other words, occupational therapy helps you engage in daily activities, improve the function of your back, return to work without exacerbating your back pain, and help manage pain.
Get started with physical therapy in Glen Burnie, Maryland
Here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center, our team approaches back pain management from a multifaceted approach. Not only do we offer occupational therapy, but depending on your unique needs, we may also recommend:
- Other physical therapy modalities, including soft tissue mobilization, assistive stretching exercises, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), muscle energy techniques, and dry needling
- Pain management counseling
- Multiwave locked system (MLS) laser therapy
To find out how occupational therapy 一 or any of a number of other nonsurgical back pain treatments 一 can help with your back pain, call us at 410-324-2968. You can also book an appointment with Dr. Hamoy via our online form.