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If physical therapy is recommended, your physical therapist (PT) will start by asking you questions about your spine condition. You may be asked questions about when your pain started, where you hurt, and how your symptoms affect your daily activities. Your answers will help your PT focus on the source of your problem and what he or she will need to do to help relieve it. You PT will then likely do an exam that may include some or all of the following checks.
Your PT will evaluate your answers and your exam results to decide the best way to help you. He or she will then write a plan of care, which lists the treatments to be used and the goals that you and your PT decide on to do your daily activities safely and with the least amount of discomfort. The plan also includes a prognosis, which is your PT's idea of how well the treatments will work and how long you will need therapy in order to get the most benefit.
To control pain and symptoms, your PT may recommend the following physical therapies:
PTs use functional training when you need help doing specific activities with greater ease and safety. Examples of functional training include:
Once your pain is controlled, your range of motion has improved, and your strength is returning, you will be able to continue your physical therapy on your own at home. Your PT will review some of the ideas listed above to help take care of any soreness at home. You will be given instructions to help you keep working on your range of motion and strength. Before you are done with therapy, more measurements may be taken to see how well you are doing now compared to when you first started therapy.