Can Physical Therapy Treat an Annular Tear?

Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatment options for individuals suffering from an annular tear. This conservative treatment can lead to significant benefits and can typically be combined with other conservative treatments, including pain medications and epidural steroid injections. Additionally, physical therapy can help rebuild strength and flexibility that may have been lost with age. If you are suffering from an annular tear, contact our team at BEST Health System and see if physical therapy could be an option for you. 

Before beginning physical therapy, it is important that your physician understands your overall health and symptoms. Some topics that will come up during your first appointment may include:

  • When did your symptoms start?
  • What movements and activities make your pain worse?
  • Have you tried any other treatments for your annular tear?
  • What is your current exercise routine?

It is very important for a physical therapist to know about your lifestyle so they can create an exercise plan specially tailored for you. While some patients’ assigned exercises may be more intense, patients with severe symptoms may begin with easier exercises and stretches. 

Making the most of physical therapy sessions

Physical therapy can involve many different exercises to stretch and strengthen your muscles, expand your range of motion, and alleviate annular tear pain. Exercises, manual therapies, and other modalities can all be customized to your individual needs. 

For the best results from physical therapy, most patients will be recommended to sessions for about six to eight weeks. In addition to these appointments, patients are expected to practice these exercises at home and must follow instructions for results. 

Although physical therapy is an excellent treatment option for many individuals, some may still suffer from the pain of annular tears afterward. If you are not content with your results from physical therapy, you may be a candidate for a surgical procedure. Contact our office at BEST Health System and see what is next for you in your path to recovery.