Physical therapy focuses on improving your ability to do your daily activities and teaches you how to prevent future back problems. Treatments vary, but most combine strengthening and stretching with passive care such as massage and low-level laser therapy.

Good to know: Physical therapy should be challenging. Once something becomes easy, the therapist should add weight, repetitions, or new exercises. Physical therapists often use hot or cold packs and ultrasound treatments, which warm tissues deep in your body. The treatment can feel good, but you can do it yourself with ice or heat at home.. And it’s not clear whether ultrasound yields faster healing.

So consider using your valuable appointment for exercise and other therapies.

Source: Consumer Reports Book June 2017

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