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  • Durant PT

At-Home Back Pain Self-Assessment

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

7 Questions To Ask Yourself To Determine If You Need Physical Therapy

Many adults experience lower back pain, but when do your symptoms warrant medical assistance? Back pain is one of the leading symptoms to drive patients into emergency care. In addition to interfering with daily life, back pain has been linked with hopelessness, anger, and depression. There are many reasons why one may experience back pain, but 90% of back pain is mechanical. AKA caused by stress placed on the bones, discs, or nerves in your spine. The good news mechanical back pain can improve with physical therapy and time. Complete our at-home self-assessment below to determine if you need PT.

Self-Assessment for Back Pain

Our physical therapists have designed a quick quiz to help you determine if physical therapy is recommended. If you answer yes to 2 or more questions, we recommend you schedule a physical therapy evaluation.

1. Has your back hurt for more than 3-5 days?

2. Does your pain go down your legs?

3. Is your pain constant?

4. Do you have numbness or tingling in your legs?

5. Do you have weakness in your legs?

6. Can you sit, stand, or walk for less than 2-3 mins before pain requires you to lie down?

7. Do you hunch over to decrease your pain when you stand or walk?

If you answered yes to 2 or more of the above questions you will likely benefit from physical therapy.

Unfortunately, not all back pain can be resolved with physical therapy alone. If you can not sit or stand for more than 2-3 mins without severe pain then you should call your doctor prior to seeking physical therapy.


3 At Home Methods To Ease Back Pain:

  1. Try supine 90/90. Lie on your back with your legs up on a chair so that your knees and hips are at 90 degrees. This position helps to decrease the load through your spine. Breathe here for a few minutes.

  2. If standing is uncomfortable, try lying on your back and gently pull one knee into your chest (single knee to chest stretch). Hold for 30 seconds and gently transition to the other side.

  3. If sitting is uncomfortable, try lying on your belly, and with hands under your shoulders, try a gentle press up into extension. Only push up slightly as far as feels ok. This may relieve symptoms.


Contact Durant Physical Therapy at (860) 430-2344 today to schedule your physical therapy evaluation to determine how our therapists can help.


About the Author: Vinnie Maiorino

Vinnie Maiorino is a physical therapist at Durant Physical Therapy with over a decade of experience as a therapist and a Credentialed Clinical Instructor. He specializes in manual therapy of all types with special training in kinesiology taping, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, and integrative dry needling.

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