Health Blog

Manual Physical Therapy as an Effective Natural Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain
According to WebMD, “Almost 30% of Americans have some sort of pain in the lower back, and it’s a top cause of disability worldwide,” and this article on MedlinePlus says that back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor. There are many possible causes for this pain: stress, fractures, strains, herniated discs, and lifestyle habits like slouching, wearing high heels, or carrying heavy backpacks. Back pain can also be a symptom of sciatica, which is an irritation of the sciatic nerve that can cause pain throughout the leg as well as in the back.

You should always visit your doctor to rule out a serious injury or disease as the cause of your back pain. After that, as the MedlinePlusarticle goes on to say, your first line of defense should not be medication, except in the most serious cases of long-lasting back pain. Instead, it’s recommended to try drug-free therapies like yoga, exercise, massage, heat wraps, acupuncture, and physical therapy.

There’s no reason to live in pain when you have access to effective, non-invasive natural treatments like manual physical therapy.

What is Manual Physical Therapy?

This is a specialized field of physical therapy; therapists must receive advanced training.

WebMD lists three types of manual physical therapy:

“Soft Tissue Mobilization. Pressure is applied to the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. Massage can help relax muscles, increase circulation, and ease pain in the soft tissues.

“Joint Mobilization. Slow, measured movements are used to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint and help with flexibility and alignment.

“Joint Manipulation. Pressure is applied to a joint. It can be done with the hands or a special device. The careful, controlled force used on the joint can range from gentle to strong and from slow to rapid.”

Your treatment will likely include a combination of these hands-on techniques to help relieve your back pain. Each course of treatment is unique to the patient.

What Should I Expect?

Your treatment begins with a thorough exam so we can identify the cause of the pain. With that knowledge, our highly trained physical therapists can design a specific care plan to suit your needs and get you the results you’re looking for. This could include manual physical therapy as well as exercises for you to do during your therapy sessions and on your own.

How Can I Prevent Back Pain?

It’s important to complete your prescribed manual physical therapy treatment plan, including all exercises–even if you start to feel better earlier than anticipated. After that, these are some important considerations:

  • Stay active. A healthy spine is a spine that moves regularly. Exercise that strengthens your back and abdominal muscles can help ease and prevent back pain.
  • Watch your posture. Mom was right when she said, “Sit up straight!” It can feel difficult at first until your muscles get used to holding you in that position, but your low back will thank you. If you have a desk job, use a high-quality chair with appropriate support, take regular standing and stretching breaks, and look into getting a standing desk for at least some of your work time.
  • Be careful with heavy items. How many people do you know who started having back trouble after they tried to move their couch? It’s important to keep a strong, straight back and lift with your legs when you are moving any heavy object. And though it’s tempting to do everything yourself, recognize when it might be better to get someone else to do that lifting for you. The assistance might save your back!
  • Consider your entire lifestyle. Notice if you constantly shift your weight to one leg, or if you always carry a bag or a baby on the same side of your body. Try wearing flat shoes more often than you wear heels. Eat well to maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress on all your joints.

Want to find out more how you can naturally heal lower back pain and sciatica?

I’m hosting a FREE Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop that is limited to 20 attendees.


Here’s what you will learn:

  • The Single Biggest #1 Mistake back pain and sciatica sufferers make which actually stops them from healing…
  • The 3 Most Common Causes of Lower Back Pain and Sciatica…
  • A Sure-Fire Way to Pick the Right Treatment for the Cause of Your Pain (and save you a ton of time and money)
  • How a problem in your back can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your leg…
  • What successful treatment and permanent relief looks like without the side effects of medications, injections or surgery.

To attend the VALPARAISO Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop, click here.

Click here to attend the CROWN POINT Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop.

For the LAPORTE Lower Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop, click here.


Arlan Alburo, PT, MTC


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Our Reviews
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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