Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Physical Therapy for Back Pain
Physical therapists provide a type of treatment you may need when back pain makes it hard to move around
and do everyday tasks. This treatment helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also
helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level.
The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks and activities
easier. For example, it may help with walking, going up stairs, or getting in
and out of bed.
Physical therapy may be used alone or with other
You may get treatment at:
physical therapist will examine you and make a
treatment plan. You may need help with flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and/or balance.
First, your therapist will try to reduce your pain and swelling. Then he
or she will probably work to increase your flexibility, strength, and
Physical therapy almost always includes exercise. It
can include stretching,
core exercises, weight lifting, and walking. You may learn an exercise program so you can do it at home.
Your physical therapist also may use
manual therapy, education, and techniques such as
heat, cold, water, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.
Treatment may cause mild soreness or swelling. This is normal, but talk
to your physical therapist if it bothers you.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerJoan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.