Common Reasons for Back Pain

Appreciated Insight from a Physical Therapist Rockville, MD Patients

physical therapist Rockville, MD If you are suffering from chronic back pain and have been unable to find relief, you may want to consider consulting with a physical therapist in Rockville, MD. At the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center we have helped many of our fellow community members who suffered from back pain. Our medical staff has had significant success in treating patients with chronic pain after traditional medicine failed. We have also enabled many patients to avoid surgery. If you’re suffering from back pain, call our office today to find out how we can help. The back is made up of bones, discs, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. A physical therapist in Rockville, MD, from the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center can diagnose your condition to determine what is causing your back pain. Below is some general information that can help you understand the common causes of back pain.

Bulges and the Herniation of Discs

The spine has 33 interlocking vertebrae and between each pair of vertebrae is a disc. These discs are made up of a capsule of connective tissue that surrounds a soft, jelly-like center. The job of the discs is to absorb shock and to provide flexibility of the spine. When there is an injury to the disc, that jelly-like center can be pushed out and cause it to bulge. Herniated or bulging disc symptoms include back pain, pain radiating down the legs, and numbness in arms or legs. A physical therapist in Rockville, MD from the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center can examine you to determine if you are suffering from a bulging or herniated disc.


When the spinal column is misaligned, it can be excruciating. This, in turn, can limit the person’s range of motion. Trauma, toxins, or physical stress can cause this condition known as subluxations. A physical therapist in Rockville, MD, might tell you that subluxations are among the most frequently overlooked causes of back pain in traditional medicine and can be easily corrected using non-invasive treatments.

Sprains and Strains

The most common injuries to the back are strains or sprains to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons. These injuries often occur when the patient has engaged in activities that they are not used to doing or were involved in an accident. Twisting the wrong way, lifting a heavy object, or stretching beyond what the body is used to can cause injuries that leave a patient in pain. At the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center we have had great success treating patients suffering from sprains and strains.


Many patients do not realize that though stress can wreak havoc on us mentally, it can also take its toll on us physically. When a person suffers from chronic stress, it will often present itself as chronic back pain. When we are stressed, the body releases hormones that can cause tension and muscle spasms in trigger points of the body. A physical therapist in Rockville, MD, from the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center can focus on those trigger points to relieve stress and pain.

Avoid Surgery

If you’re suffering from an injury or have a painful chronic condition, a physical therapist Rockville MD offers may help you avoid surgery and reduce your pain. At the Pain Arthritis Relief Center, we believe that the body heals the body. By using regenerative, integrative medicine, healing can take place, and wellness can begin. There are many benefits to physical therapy. A trained and licensed health practitioner can help develop a treatment plan best suited for your individual needs. If you’re looking for a physical therapist, Rockville MD residents turn to for pain relief, call us at (301) 710-9777 to make an appointment. If you’re not familiar with the many benefits of physical therapy, the following information may be of interest to you. A physical therapist in Rockville, MD, may be available to meet with you in person to address your questions.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy

A physical therapist, Rockville MD patients respect, may help people experiencing mobility issues and pain. Physical therapists are evidence-based healthcare practitioners, which means they make treatment decisions influenced by their patient’s conditions, training, and patient wishes. A Rockville MD physical therapist aims to reduce a patient’s need for drugs or surgery.

Improving Motion and Mobility

Quality of life is closely related to living pain-free and having the ability to move freely. Moving freely allows one to fully connect with their loved ones, career, leisure activities, and the world around them. Freedom of movement contributes to our good health, and in turn, good health contributes to our freedom of movement. At least 18 percent of all American adults die from obesity-related issues. By improving the body’s ability to move without pain, it may become easier to stay healthy. This might be true for people who suffer from any number of health concerns, including the following:

  • High risk for heart attacks and strokes
  • Joint arthritis
  • Hip pain
  • Neck pain or whiplash
  • Disk pain

Reducing the Need for Surgery or Drugs

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs often have adverse side effects. Even with insurance coverage, these medications may be expensive. Surgery often carries risks and may not guarantee long-term positive results depending on the type of surgery. Physical therapy may help treat conditions in place of surgery or drugs, and often with equal or superior results. In addition, the cost is usually less than that for surgery, which may require follow-up treatments and medications. A physical therapist Rockville MD locals rely on for pain relief may provide a detailed treatment plan following an exam. Physical therapy often eliminates the need for expensive imaging scans such as MRIs for those who suffer any of the following conditions:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Meniscal tears
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Lower back pain


physical therapy infographic



How To Get the Most Out of Your Physical Therapy Visit

Communicate Clearly and Specifically

Recovering from surgery is not the only time that physical therapy is beneficial. Sports injuries, slip and fall injuries, and general pain or weakness are all reasons to seek physical therapy treatment at the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center. When you arrive at your initial physical therapy evaluation, be prepared to tell your physical therapist in Rockville, MD as many details as you can about your complaint. Before you go, think about when your pain began, if there was some specific incident that caused it, or how long it has been a problem. Also, think about what your goals are for attending physical therapy. Communicating clearly and specifically with your PT will help him or her to develop a plan of care for you.

Be Diligent With Your Homework

After your initial visit with your physical therapist in Rockville, MD, you will receive a schedule of how often to return and a few exercises to work on in between appointments. The homework is important. Most physical therapy appointments last no more than one hour, so if you only see your PT once or twice per week, that’s not enough time to build up your muscles to help resolve your pain. That’s why it’s essential to be diligent with your homework. By completing the assigned exercises, you are contributing to your own recovery. At each appointment, your PT will be able to see how you’re doing and scale your program to meet your abilities. The more dedicated your are, the better your recovery usually goes.

Show Up to Appointments

Similar to completing your homework, it’s crucial that you show up to your appointments. Physical therapy at the Pain & Relief Center can help to resolve your pain but only if you participate. Too often, the people who complain that physical therapy doesn’t help are the people who did not make a commitment to their appointments. Your physical therapist in Rockville, MD wants to support your health goals but that is only possible if you show up. Adjusting your schedule to attend PT two or three times per week might not be easy, but the benefit to your health is indisputable. If you want to get better, you must attend your appointments.

Trust Your Doctor

Physical therapists are doctors. They have had extensive schooling and, often, specialized training to know how movement will help to reduce or resolve pain. Trust that your doctor knows how to help you and commit to the program that they have developed to improve your quality of life.

3 Issues Besides Pain That Physical Therapy Can Treat

Many people think that physical therapy is only for people experiencing severe or ongoing pain. However, pain is not the only symptom that physical therapy may help alleviate. There are many additional reasons to employ a qualified physical therapist in Rockville, MD.   Here at the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center, we know that many other debilitating conditions and feelings plague people and lower their quality of life. We want to help. Below are just a few examples of conditions which may not necessarily generate pain but often still cause significant problems and that physical therapy can treat.

Carpal and Tarsal Tunnel

While carpal and tarsal tunnel often do cause some pain, these nerve-related disorders usually cause additional symptoms as well. Many people say that the weakness, tingling, numbness, stiffness, and “jerks,” movements from electric shock sensations, that the tunnel syndromes cause in your hands or feet are even more troublesome than the pain. A licensed physical therapist in Rockville, MD may be able to help alleviate or assist you in learning how to cope with these frustrating sensations as well as the pain.


Vertigo might leave you spinning, literally. It is often caused by an issue emanating from the inner ear that leaves people feeling nauseous, wobbly, and disoriented. People suffering from vertigo experience dizziness and often lose their balance completely. This may lead to falls and severe injuries.  Physical therapists can help vertigo sufferers by teaching them head and neck movement techniques to help stop the dizzy spells more rapidly than simply waiting for them to stop will. They might also teach patients how to more safely sit down or “fall” during these world-spinning episodes to mitigate the risk of accidents and injuries.


When the lymphatic system does not regularly and adequately drain lymph fluid it might cause a condition called lymphedema. Lymphedema notably leads to swelling of one or more portions of the body, restricts movement, induces a feeling of tightness or heaviness, and changes the skin’s look and feel. In some cases, people with lymphedema also experience more severe, longer-lasting, and repetitive infections and develop a serious, at times life-threatening, malady known as sepsis. A certified physical therapist in Rockville, MD can manipulate the body in special ways and teach patients at-home methods to help the fluid drain more efficiently. Physical therapists may also provide or suggest purchasing braces, compression stockings, or other medical equipment to help alleviate this condition. If you are plagued by severe, persistent pain or other debilitating sensations, like the ones above, contact the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center today to consult an experienced physical therapist in Rockville, MD to get the help you want and need.

Your First Physical Therapy Appointment: What to Expect

Working with a physical therapist Rockville, MD trusts is one of the best methods to heal after an injury or massive surgery. If you have been referred to our office by your doctor, but don’t know where to start – don’t worry! Our Rockville, Maryland physical therapist has compiled a beginner’s guide to physical therapy, so you know what to expect when you come in for your first appointment.

What Exactly Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a method of healing the body after it has suffered trauma in some way. Most commonly used after suffering from an injury or surgery, physical therapy aims to ease the pain while helping you function and move. Patients may use physical therapy if they:

  • Have just had massive joint surgery, such as a hip or knee replacement
  • Suffer from chronic lower back pain
  • Are mobility impaired due to age or a chronic condition
  • Recovering after giving birth
  • Need to improve movement in some way
  • Are going through rehab after having a stroke
  • Are working on their balance
  • Have a chronic disease such as heart disease or diabetes
  • Are adapting to living with an artificial limb

At Pain & Arthritis Relief Center, your Rockville, Maryland physical therapist has seen patients of all ages and walks of life; physical therapy is so versatile!

Low Back Pain: 4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help

Persistent low back pain that isn’t improving with rest may mean it’s time to get help. Symptoms of low back pain can include pain that radiates down one or both legs, pain that feels worse while walking, bending, or reaching for an item, and unexplained numbness or weakness in one or both legs. A physical therapist in Rockville, MD from the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center is here to assist you. Below are four ways we can help you feel better and improve your quality of life.

1. Reduce Your Pain During the First Visit

A physical therapist may help you find pain relief during the first appointment using a variety of treatment methods. Depending on your level of pain, comfort, and ability to move, treatment methods may be passive or active. Passive treatment methods could include applying heat or ice to your back or electrically stimulating the area. Active treatment methods could include gently stretching the muscles or massaging the area. Communication is key, and letting your physical therapist know what is – or isn’t – working can improve your outcome. 

2. Increase Your Range of Motion

Low back pain may cause a reduction in range of motion because it hurts to move, and in turn, this lack of movement may cause a decrease in daily physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle may also contribute to continued muscle weakness and an increase in low back pain. A physical therapist in Rockville, MD can show you how to move again in a way that feels good so you can get back to the activities you enjoy.

3. Teach You How To Safely Engage Your Abdominal Muscles

Weak abdominal muscles may also lead to low back pain because the spine may not be supported properly. This issue can cause the low back muscles to feel tight or cause a muscle imbalance, both of which may contribute to low back pain. Using a variety of methods, such as exercises that stabilize abdominal muscles, exercises to improve balance, and education on proper posture, a physical therapist in Rockville, MD from the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center is ready to show you how to safely engage your abdominal muscles and support your low back.

4. Prevent Future Back Pain 

Seeing a physical therapist may help ensure you stay pain-free and mobile for the long term. Following the treatment plan you and your physical therapist agree on, reporting any changes to your lifestyle and health, and communicating with your physical therapist along the way can help ensure you stay pain-free. There is no need to spend time stressing out over future low back pain. You and your physical therapist can discuss a prevention plan so you can be confident and pain-free moving forward.  You don’t have to suffer from low back pain any longer. A physical therapist in Rockville, MD is ready to efficiently assess your low back pain. We can determine the cause and work with you to create a plan of care that works for you now and in the future. 

Your First Appointment

It is advised to show up to your first therapy appointment a few minutes early as there will be new patient paperwork you’ll need to fill out. Once you are taken back and have met your trusted Rockville, MD, physical therapist, they will then perform a comprehensive consultation on you. During the consultation, your physical therapist in Rockville, MD, will evaluate your balance, flexibility, coordination, posture, and heart rate. They may also want you to walk so they can look at your natural gait and do simple activities so they can see how your body performs during functional activities such as standing up and sitting down. In addition, the therapist will ask about your everyday work and home activities and how active you are. Above everything else, you’ll work together to determine your goals for your therapy. Once the consultation is over, you will have a comprehensive patient care plan which will detail what you’ll do during your appointments and how often you’ll come down to the office.

Before You Come In

There are a few things you’ll need to do before your first appointment:

  • Create a list of all of your symptoms and rank them from the most restrictive ones.
  • Make a list of all current prescriptions and major surgeries in your medical history
  • Bring any questions you may have about treatment for your knowledgeable Rockville, MD, physical therapist. No question is too silly, as we want you to be as comfortable as possible during your treatment.
  • Wear comfortable clothes! You’ll be moving around during your appointment, so you’ll want to dress accordingly.

Seven Things your Physical Therapist should do during your First Visit

If you have back pain, it is essential to “choose your words” carefully when you initially meet with your physical therapist for the first time. If you say you have “back pain,” this should be the starting point for a careful and thorough physical examination to diagnose the cause. It is vital to keep a journal of back pain. Write down when the pain started, its frequency, and when it lessens or becomes more severe. Explain what you cannot physically do since the start of the pain. Also, your physical therapist might ask you questions about your mattress and pillow. Be prepared to talk about them and how many hours a day you are on your feet. That is your preparation work. Now here is what an excellent physical therapist in Rockville, MD, should do (at a minimum) during your initial examination:

  1. Review your general medical history and overall health; discuss if the back pain results from acute trauma or a chronic issue.
  2. Address a potential problem with the disc – a cartilage ligament that separates the vertebrae.
  3. Discuss the potential of a muscle strain as opposed to an injury of the spine.
  4. Determine if the joints of the spine move in a free and symmetrical pattern.
  5. Gently move the back in different planes if the pain is not too extreme.
  6. Touch and manipulate tissues of the spine to identify swelling (inflammation) or tenderness.
  7. Take x-rays to check for many issues such as proper spine alignment, posture, and scoliosis.

Accurate Diagnostics Take Time

The results of your first consultation will rule out certain conditions and give us a good indication of the possible sources of your pain. It may be necessary to schedule further tests to provide detailed images of your back to pinpoint the specific source of pain. This will enable the physical therapist to precisely identify the particular location of pain and the most effective treatment. Accurate diagnostics may take longer to diagnose and treat every patient’s condition accurately. We understand patients are anxious for a solution, and we ensure our time and efforts will produce quality outcomes with adequate and practical courses of treatment.

Further Diagnostic Testing

Depending on what we discover, you may need further tests to help us narrow down the possible sources of your pain. Further testing and examinations help understand the condition or injury better, learn why you’re in pain, make a precise diagnosis, and prescribe an effective treatment regimen.

A Precise Diagnosis

Once we give you an accurate diagnosis, we will outline the various treatment options available and select the ones the provider believes will work best for your condition. Our therapists here at Pain Arthritis Relief Center want you to feel better as soon as possible. Your healing is our goal, so call us today for a consultation to learn more about how we can help.


If you’d like to explore the possibility of avoiding surgery and drugs for a painful condition, talk to a physical therapist. If you’re a candidate for physical therapy, a qualified therapist can help design a treatment plan that’s right for you. Call us at Pain Arthritis Relief Center if you’d like to meet with a physical therapist Rockville MD is proud to have in the community.

Contact the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center for a Physical Therapist Rockville, MD Offers

If you are struggling with chronic back pain, contact a physical therapist in Rockville, MD, from the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center today to learn how we can help you live a pain-free life. A physical therapist in Rockville, Maryland, can help you overcome recurring or debilitating pain – no matter the cause. At Pain Arthritis Relief Center, we focus on more than arthritis: Sometimes, you need a medical professional to help with knee pain or sports injuries, and we’re ready to assist you. Several types of knee injuries can reduce your range of movement and seriously restrict your ability to go about your day-to-day life. One of the most painful (and most common) is a torn ACL. You may have heard of a torn ACL if you’re a sports fan, but did you know it can affect you even if you’re not an athlete? Read on to learn more about how a torn ACL can affect you.

What is a torn ACL? 

ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament: Put in plain English, it’s a ligament that keeps you stable when standing or walking. Think of it like a rubber band that connects your shinbone to your thigh bone. The ACL is threaded through your knee joint, and just like a rubber band, it can potentially snap if it’s pulled the wrong way. An ACL can be torn in several ways, but a strenuous physical activity like sports is the most common source of a torn ACL. Certain sports involve a lot of sudden pivots or changes in direction, and when this happens, it can put a lot of stress on the ACL. In extreme cases, this can tear an ACL completely: You’ll hear an audible pop and feel a whole lot of pain. Unfortunately, in the event of a torn ACL, the injury itself is just the start of your problems. A torn ACL means a lengthy recovery period, and it can mean a lot of time spent off the court. Typically, torn ACLs take up to six months to fully heal, and in the meantime, you’ll be dealing with pain and instability in your knee. If you experience a torn ACL, first aid is essential. The RICE formula is tried and true: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. But it takes a whole lot more to get back to 100% after your torn ACL. Fortunately, a physical therapist in Rockville, MD, can help.

Pain Arthritis Relief Center: Your source for ACL recovery 

At Pain Arthritis Relief Center, we understand the importance of proper recovery, especially in a torn ACL. While ACL injuries are most common in athletes, we know that knee injuries can happen to anyone, and they all deserve proper care and attention for a full recovery. While a torn ACL might mean you’re down for the count, the professionals at Pain Arthritis Relief Center are committed to helping you regain your motion and independence. Torn ACLs takes hard work, planning, and dedication if you’re hoping to get back to normal, and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure you get to where you need to be. If you’ve experienced a torn ACL or another type of knee injury, reach out to Pain Arthritis Relief Center today, and see how a physical therapist in Rockville, MD, can help you get the recovery and future you deserve.

Physical Therapy After Surgery

If you have an injury, treatment from a physical therapist in Rockville, MD, may be recommended. Whether you were recently injured, experiencing chronic pain, or have been dealing with issues for some time, physical therapy may serve as a possible solution. Perhaps one little-known reason to see a physical therapist is for post-surgical rehabilitation. There are several reasons your doctor may recommend this form of rehabilitation from the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center. Our team will assist you by developing a treatment plan that focuses on your recovery and achieves your treatment goals. 

Surgery Isn’t a Fix All

When a person receives surgery, it’s essential to know that the surgery alone won’t fully correct the problem. Your doctor will likely recommend post-surgical physical therapy to make the most of your recovery and ensure results. Standard surgical procedures that will likely require physical therapy after are:

  • Hip Surgery
  • Knee Replacement Surgery
  • Joint Replacement Surgery
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Shoulder Surgery
  • Foot Surgery
  • +More

Physical therapy is a way to expedite healing and ensure that the results from surgery are lasting. Surgeries are invasive and take significant lengths of time to heal. It’s important to know that surgery won’t just fix the problem. To ensure results, patients will need to commit to their recovery with physical therapy. 

Reasons Physical Therapy is Beneficial 

Post-surgical physical therapy is not only beneficial; it’s a critical component of the recovery process. While there will undoubtedly be downtime following the procedure, once you reach a specific point in your recovery, it will be time to participate in physical therapy. It can be challenging to see the value of physical therapy, especially when you assume that surgery will be the answer. Here are some critical reasons that physical therapy is imperative after a surgical procedure:

  • To shorten recovery times
  • Improve range of motion
  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce the risk of complications
  • Prevent the formation of scar tissue
  • Reduce swelling
  • Build strength to the affected area(s)

While physical therapy may seem like an afterthought post-surgery, our Rockville, Maryland physical therapist wants you to know that it’s crucial. After enduring surgery- why would you want sub-par results? Return to the lifestyle you envisioned before undergoing surgery by fully committing to post-surgical physical therapy. 

Preparing for Post Surgical Physical Therapy

Post-surgical physical therapy is the best way to reach the intended results after invasive procedures. Our team will work with you on exercises and stretches aimed at helping you return to improved levels of functioning. The majority of patients seeking physical therapy have likely already endured physical therapy. However, if you have never been to physical therapy, there are some ways to prepare, such as:

  • Arriving early to complete paperwork
  • Answering questions that pertain to your medical history
  • Wearing comfortable clothing
  • Enduring stretches and exercises aimed at recovery

We know that the thought of engaging in physical therapy after surgery can feel like a stretch, but our team is here to ensure that you are well informed of the treatment to follow. 

Choosing a Practice That Suits Your Needs

Pain & Arthritis Center offers premier services aimed at assisting with your recovery. We know that the days following surgery can be challenging, and you will be looking to experience relief so that you can live an everyday life. Start your post-surgical journey with rehabilitation from our Rockville, MD, physical therapist today.