3rd Quarter, 2009

Current Trends

The Epidemic of Low-Back Pain
The lifetime prevalence of low-back pain in the general adult population is estimated between 85% and 90%. Physical therapists, who are experts in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives, play an important role not only in treating persistent or recurrent low back pain, but also in prevention and risk reduction.

Physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility, and not all pain—specifically, low-back pain—is the same. Treatment should be tailored to suit your specific condition. You should expect the following from a physical therapist:

Individualized assessment: Your physical therapist will ask you a number of questions about your specific condition and will thoroughly examine you for problems with posture, flexibility, strength, joint mobility, and movement.

Individualized treatment plan: Once your assessment is complete your physical therapist will develop a plan designed for your specific type of back problem. This may consist of:

  • Treatment to decrease pain, restore mobility
  • Manual therapy techniques, including
    spinal mobilization or manipulation, to
    improve mobility of joints and soft tissues.
  • Strengthening and/or flexibility exercise.
  • Education about caring for your back and
    training for proper lifting, bending, sitting,
    sleeping, standing, walking, and doing
    chores both at work and in the home.

Success Stories

“I tried everything when I injured my back a year and a half ago. My treatments included: epidurals, acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractors, decompression, massage and a variety of medications. I was actually scheduled for surgery at one point.

I am in the restaurant business, and was really struggling with staying on my feet, lifting, bending and moving quickly. My spirits were really low as well.

My doctor thought one last round of physical therapy wouldn’t hurt. I asked him to send me to a different facility. So, he recommended Elite Physical Therapy.

I couldn’t believe the difference one visit made for me. I actually felt hopeful for the first time since my injury. I liked the fact that I saw the same person at every appointment. I felt like the therapist really listened to me and cared about my recovery. He actually showed me how lift and carry cases of beer and pop correctly, because that was important in my line of work.

When the time came for me to “graduate,” I was happy, but scared that I couldn’t maintain my wellbeing. Well guess what! Elite now has PT- based Pilates and Boot Camp. I am enrolled in both, and am stronger than I have been in many years.

I now constantly remind myself to stand tall and use my core muscles in my everyday activities. In fact, I think I am going to play tennis today!”

Chris C., Kansas City, Missouri


Elite Physical Therapy provides compassionate and expert care to individuals with musculoskeletal conditions in a hands-on, one-on-one setting and to enhance wellness and performance throughout life.

Elite Physical Therapy will be recognized nationally in physical therapy and wellness as board certified master clinicians providing leadership in sports specific enhancement programs, injury prevention, community health, and professional education.

  • Elite has 11 therapists on staff, making it one of the largest, single facility private practices in the country. Elite has more board certifications than any other practice in the metro; Areas of certification range from orthopedics, to sports, to aquatics. In addition to patients suffering low-back pain, Elite’s staff is skilled in treating all orthopedic conditions.
  • Elite’s Wellness Department has recently launched PT-based Pilates Classes and a “Golf Program”. If you or someone else is looking to take your game to another level, contact Stephanie Nicholson, PT or Danny Laughlin, PT.
  • Not all physical therapy practices are the same. Skill level, education, specialization, and quality of care can vary tremendously from one practice to the next.

Tips & Tricks

How Can You Prevent Low Back Pain?

  • Keep your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong and flexible
  • Keep your body in alignment, so it can be more efficient when you move.
  • Don’t slouch—keep good posture
  • Use good body positioning at work, home, or during leisure activities
  • When lifting, keep the load close to your body
  • Ask for help or use an assistive device to lift heavy objects
  • Maintain a regular physical fitness regimen. Staying active can help to prevent injuries

When is it time to see a Physical Therapist?
The following are examples of the types of conditions physical therapists may treat:

  • Arthritis
  • Back/ Neck Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Overuse Injuries (eg-Carpal tunnel, tennis elbow)
  • Post Surgical Rehab (eg-Hip or knee replacement)
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Sports Injuries
  • Sprains, strains, and fractures
  • And much more

Did you know?

  • 84% of physical therapy users refer friends and family to their physical therapist.*
  • 88% of physical therapy users say the care they received was beneficial to helping them return to normal activity, increasing their range of motion, and relieving their pain.*
  • 92% of patients found that physical therapy helped with low-back pain**

* APTA Consumer Survey, October 2007
** Spine, July 2008