How Long Does Physiotherapy Take For Lower Back Pain?

Back pain is quite common in people that sit at desks all day. But sometimes, it can be due to underlying conditions. Regardless of the cause of lower back pain, some treatments can alleviate this pain and help you go through your day hassle-free. However, the length of treatment is not the same for everybody.

Kindly read further to find out when you should see a Physiotherapist for back pain and how long the treatment takes.

Overview Of Lower Back Pain

Back pain can vary from low intensity to high intensity. In fact, the pain may be so intense that some people miss work. Symptoms of lower back pain include a burning or stabbing sensation. You may also feel the pain in your leg which makes standing, walking, or lifting difficult.

Common causes of lower back pain include arthritis, osteoporosis, muscle strain, and ruptured disks. Although anyone can develop back pain, you are at risk if you are over 30 years, do not exercise often, or are obese. Other risk factors include smoking, improper lifting, and psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.

When Should You See A Physiotherapist For Lower Back Pain?

Back pain is especially prevalent in inactive people or people who sit for long periods at work. This is due to the lack of support for the back. However, this pain usually resolves itself. Unfortunately, there are instances where the back pain is recurring, and you have to seek medical help.

Signs that you need physiotherapy for your back pain include;

  • Tingling and referred pain

Referred pain occurs when you feel the pain traveling from your back to other parts of your body. You need to see a doctor for an examination if you experience referred pain, as this may be a symptom of sciatica. Sciatica is a painful spinal condition that weakens and tingles the feet, toes, and bottom or back of your legs. Without immediate treatment, sciatica can cause long-term issues, including stiffness, and loss of movement or sensation.

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  • Pain lasting over a week

Suppose your lower back pain lasts for over a week and especially hampers your daily activities. In that case, you have to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Long-term back pain can lead to complications, especially when left untreated

  • No relief from home remedies

Using a reclining chair, sleeping with a pillow between your knees, and alternating between hot and cold packs are home remedies for lower back pain. If these do not provide any relief, then it is time to see your doctor.

  • Injury-related back pain

Sports injuries, serious falls, and car accidents can cause back pain. Without prompt treatment, injury-related back pain can lead to disability and pain.

  • Severe symptoms

If your lower back pain is present with severe symptoms such that you cannot move or feel numb and weak, seek immediate medical help. Other severe lower back pain symptoms include sudden, intense pain and bowel problems. Your doctor can run tests to identify the underlying cause of your back pain before referring you to a Physiotherapist in Barrie, ON.

Types Of Physiotherapy For Lower Back Pain

There are two types of physiotherapy for lower back pain;

Passive Physiotherapy

Your physiotherapist will perform passive Physiotherapy for your lower back while you provide feedback. You do not need to be actively involved in this physiotherapy. Passive treatment aims to improve joint flexibility, relieve pain, and release tight muscles.

Some examples of passive physiotherapy include massage, joint movement, applying heat or ice packs, and spinal manipulations.

Active Physiotherapy

As the name suggests, active physiotherapy requires active participation. Your Physiotherapist may recommend some exercises that can ease lower back pain. Usually, active and passive Physiotherapy are used together for the best results.

Examples of active physiotherapy include strengthening exercises, stretching, pilates, and weight training. Your Physiotherapist may also recommend core stability exercises and low-impact aerobics.

How Long Does Physiotherapy Take For Lower Back Pain?

The duration of physiotherapy for lower back pain varies for all patients. The treatment could last a few weeks or months. Active Physiotherapy may be ideal if you have lower back pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Passive Physiotherapy is more suitable for short-term pain.

Nevertheless, if your pain does not subside, your doctor may recommend invasive treatments such as corticosteroid injections or surgery.


Back pain may be mild or excruciatingly painful. See your doctor if your lower back pain lasts for more than a week, is intense, and does not relieve you despite at-home remedies. A physiotherapist may carry out active or passive therapy depending on the severity and duration of your pain.

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