ZocdocAnswersIs it safe to do physical therapy before being diagnosed ?

Question

Is it safe to do physical therapy before being diagnosed ?

I been in pain in my lower back since March and it will go away for a couple weeks and come back just as bad.

Answer

Since the cause of your lower back pain remains unidentified, it is strongly recommended that you seek consultation with your primary care physician for further evaluation before starting any type of treatment. While the vast majority of lower back pains are related to a muscular/skeletal cause such as ligament or muscle strain, there are rarer causes of back pain that need to be excluded. For example, the presence of weight loss, fevers, or other medical problems (such as cancer, osteoporosis, etc) may warrant further investigation with tests like x-rays or an MRI. Physical exam is also very important in the work-up of your back pain. Certain maneuvers (like a straight leg raise) can help your doctor determine if this is a simple muscular back pain or if there may be impingement on the nerves that travel down your legs (like in the case of a "slipped disk"). In the event that you do have back pain due to a muscular or ligamentous injury, then physical therapy can be very helpful in the recovery process. However, it always helps to have an idea of the underlying cause before starting therapy. This would let your physical therapist provide a more individualized and safer program for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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