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Heal a
“Bad Back”

Without Resorting to Medications, Surgery, or Living With It

July 17, 2021


Heal a “Bad Back”

Without Resorting to Medications, Surgery, or Living With It

July 17, 2021

Do you struggle with a “bad back” that has you living in pain? Or maybe you live each day avoiding or modifying activity, hoping not to aggravate it? 

If so, you’re not alone. A 2020 study found that back pain is the leading global cause for years lived with disability.1 It’s also the most common reason to seek treatment at Buffalo Rehab Group. Low back injuries account for over 25% of all patients seen.

Low back pain can take on many forms and diagnoses, including:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Stenosis
  • Disc Herniations, Bulges
  • Sciatica

Each diagnosis comes with challenges. For example, those struggling with degenerative disc disease or stenosis often find it difficult to stand and walk distances. On the other hand, those struggling with disc injuries typically struggle with sitting and bending — but feel better once they are up and moving.

For others struggling with back pain, they find themselves constantly changing positions to get relief.

The biggest misconception for patients is that they have a “bad back” because they’re getting older. While age-related changes are inevitable as you reach your 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond, you have control over your back health — and can even slow the aging process.  

Important to know:

A 2014 study found that 60% of people over 50 have a disc bulge, and 80% have some degree of disc degeneration on an MRI. Interestingly, every person in the study had no pain or symptoms.2 What does that mean? Aging in the spine is normal and is often seen on an MRI. Despite these findings, it typically does not determine your ability to live an active and pain-free life.

Why does your back hurt?

Most often, imbalances in strength and flexibility cause compensations and excessive forces that strain the low back.

Tight muscles in the legs and stiffness in the surrounding joints cause the low back to compensate and move excessively. Over time, the extra movement causes the low back to be irritable and painful.

The same is true for muscle weakness. Core and hip muscle weakness place extra strain and stress on the spine with daily tasks like lifting, standing, walking, and hobbies.

The compensations due to weakness and tightness above are often why medications and other pain-relieving treatments fail to improve back pain. The treatments focus on the pain and not “why” behind it. 

The best places to start when improving back pain:

  • Hamstrings
  • Hip Flexors
  • Midback
  • Core
  • Low Back
  • Hips and Glutes

Too often, people become tolerant or lose hope that their back pain will be with them forever.

Instead, look for a proactive approach to beating back pain by addressing the why. Not only can you break away from living in pain or using medications to manage it, but you can also retake your life and get back to doing what you love.

Want help customizing a treatment plan to help you improve your back health and get you moving better?

Call (716) 539-2902 or go here to schedule online at one of 11 locations throughout Western New York.

Treatment by our Physical Therapists is covered by insurance, no referral is required, and with flexible appointments, you can find an appointment fast that works with your schedule.

Also included in your appointment:

  • A full evaluation by a Physical Therapist that includes a diagnosis and a plan to start feeling & moving better
  • Learn exercises and stretches that address your imbalances that are causing pain, stiffness, and injury
  • Strategies and tactics to heal naturally and prevent future injury
  • Coordination with your doctor to streamline care and ensure you get your life back
  • Easy setup and attendance for both in-clinic and telehealth visits — you can even use your smartphone for a telehealth visit

If you’re ready to start improving your back pain, move better, and get back to doing the things you love, schedule an appointment today.

Injury to my lower back/sciatic nerve literally would not allow me to sit for more than 10 seconds.

I was out of work for two months.  With the help of BRG I made a full recovery from these issues and avoided surgery.

Larry K


  1. Wu A, March L, Zheng X, et al. Global low back pain prevalence and years lived with disability from 1990 to 2017: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Ann Transl Med. 2020;8(6):299. doi:10.21037/atm.2020.02.175
  2. Brinjikji W, Luetmer PH, Comstock B, et al. Systematic literature review of imaging features of spinal degeneration in asymptomatic populations. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015;36(4):811-816. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A4173

Get your life back.

Call (716) 539-2902
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