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
Barbara Serynek
Barbara Serynek
18:52 03 Oct 19
The entire staff has been very pleasant, professional and accommodating. Both Kristen and Joe have given me the best massages. Kate and Kollin made sure that I was doing my excercises and helped to move things along. Feeling better every visit. I'm so glad that I chose Orthopedic & Balance.
Heidi Richardson
Heidi Richardson
17:00 19 Sep 19
I went to physical therapy not expecting it to do very much to help because that’s the way I approach everything with low expectations. Noel and his team have made my neck feel so much better that it puts me in a more positive mood each day and I actually feel more positive and more productive on a day-to-day basis..
Christine O'Donnell
Christine O'Donnell
16:26 14 Aug 19
I could barely walk into OBTS six weeks ago. I had very bad lower back and hip pain. The progress has been life changing for me. I always walk out of there with little or no pain. The staff, Laura, Dr Diane, Angie and, of course, Peggy, have taught me so much to keep my pain at bay. I highly recommend this team.
Nancy Guenther
Nancy Guenther
15:28 12 Jul 19
Absolutely awesome! My walking has improved 110%. And my pain level is zero. I highly recommend them. will be amazed how much better you feel.
Tracie Baxter
Tracie Baxter
20:24 03 Jul 19
This was the only place that could help with my TMJ. If you’re suffering from TMJ go see Noel! He really understands the condition. I no long have to deal with constant pain! The whole staff at this office is amazing and very welcoming.
Cindy Standiford
Cindy Standiford
21:33 28 Jun 19
The whole team is great!! I’m getting great care! I recommend Orthopedic & Balance for any issues you might have.
Joseph Mulholland
Joseph Mulholland
19:53 09 May 19
Amazing staff and amazing care. I came in barely able to stand up straight due to a back injury. After 6 weeks, I feel like brand new. Everyone was extremely helpful and easy to work with. Highly recommended!
Trool u
Trool u
19:44 24 Apr 19
I am a PTA student that was required 16 hours of observation time. I had the pleasure of completing my hours at this Valpo location. The staff is incredibly friendly. They were quick to make me feel at home. In a way I was sad to leave, but happy to continue on. I hope to eventually work in this field with a work family this caring and knowledgeable about their profession.
sharon Kramer
sharon Kramer
16:23 18 Apr 19
My experience has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience in getting me to feeling better. The staff does a remarkable job and are fully qualified in their respective areas. The staff made it fun coming here and they were very caring and helpful with their clients!!
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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