Approximately 80% of people in Western countries have experienced low back pain (LBP) at some point in their lives. Most cases resolve within 2-4 weeks without any medical intervention. However, within 1 year following the first episode of LBP, a vast majority of patients will have recurring pain. In most cases of LBP, certain muscles of the back that stabilize the spine are shutdown after injury. These muscles do not spontaneously recover even if patients are pain free with a return to normal activity levels.
Therapy treatment for LBP often involves a wide range of techniques including heat therapy, ultrasound, massage, mobilization, exercise, and education about posture and body mechanics. Stabilizing and strengthening the lumbar spine is also an important part of a rehabilitation program for the patient with low back pain.