Physical Therapy Can Relieve Back Pain

Anchor: While lower back pain can be debilitating, the Physical Therapy Association says the prescription doesn’t have to be drugs, says Mary Missy who reports in today’s Long Island Naturally, just a few weeks of physical therapy can offer long-term relief.

Narrator: Even though she danced in high school, Miranda Ortiz suffered from low back pain. At first, she was put on muscle relaxers but they weren’t helping much and Miranda worried her doctor would prescribe steroids or something even stronger.

Miranda Ortiz: It was months of me just being in more and more pain and it kept getting progressively worse.

Dr. Parsa Karimi: I say, “Why are you here?” and their answer always is, “I have a L4 L5 herniated disk, and they start rattling off what the MRI tells them.”

Narrator: Physical therapist, Parsa Karimi, says MRIs and other diagnostic tools don’t tell the whole story. He often finds the problem with low back pain is tight muscles, known as hamstrings.

Dr. Parsa Karimi: It’s a two-joint muscle, meaning it crosses two joints.

Miranda Ortiz: I was here for about four to six weeks and by the fifth week, I felt a 100%.

Narrator: Low back pain is a very common complaint but Dr. Karimi says that’s no surprise, we Long Islanders sit too much, especially in cars and at our desks. Dr. Karimi says we can help ease our tightened hamstrings with regular brisk walking, some gentle stretching, and a targeted strength training program.

Dr. Parsa Karimi: Work out the quads so your brain at the same time tells your hamstring to relax.

Narrator: Dr. Karimi who is also a police officer and a father, is glad the American Physical Therapy Association is finally promoting his profession as an alternative to opioid drugs for back pain.

Dr. Parsa Karimi: We are the muscular skeletal experts, we can look at someone, see the dysfunction in how they’re moving.

Narrator: In Bethpage, News12 Long Island.

Anchor: And now, thanks to the so-called Direct Access Law, most people don’t need a prescription to see a physical therapist.