Myofascial Pain Syndrome: What PT Can Do For Your Back Pain

Back pain assessment

Physical Therapy for Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Back Pain


Back pain and myofascial pain syndrome can be debilitating chronic health conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, physical therapy can provide relief from the painful symptoms associated with these conditions.

Physical therapists are highly trained healthcare professionals who create tailored treatment plans to help their patients address a variety of musculoskeletal problems, such as back pain and myofascial pain syndrome. They work with individuals to manage pain and improve mobility through a combination of exercises, manual therapy, and education. With a focus on individualized care, physical therapy can help those suffering from chronic pain to experience relief and improve their quality of life.

What to Expect at Physical Therapy

It’s vital to come well-prepared for your physical therapy session when seeking treatment for myofascial or back pain. Providing accurate information about your condition and what you hope to gain from the sessions will enable you to reap the greatest benefits. Expect questions about your medical history and lifestyle during the initial assessment, as well as various tests to help your physical therapist understand your condition better. They will then tailor an appropriate treatment plan for you.

After assessing your condition, your therapist will suggest different techniques to alleviate your symptoms. These may include manual therapy like massage, therapeutic exercises such as stretching, postural training like proper lifting techniques, or modalities like ice and heat application, or electrical stimulation. As you proceed with the treatment plan, your physical therapist will educate you on how these techniques help alleviate your pain and will explain how each technique will benefit you depending on your individual goals and specific needs.

Types of Exercises You Might Do

The specific exercises prescribed by a physical therapist will depend on one’s individual needs; however, there are some common ones that might be suggested including:

  • Stretching: Stretching muscles can help improve flexibility which can alleviate tension placed on joints caused by excessive tightness in the muscle tissue surrounding them; this reduces stress on affected joints which subsequently reduces pain levels when movement is required.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening movements help build muscle mass which increases stability around joints providing increased support when movement occurs; this helps reduce the strain placed on other structures such as discs or ligaments leading to lessened symptomology associated with conditions like myofascial pain syndrome or low back pain.
  • Balance Training: Performing activities that challenge balance can help improve coordination between nerve signals from the brain that tell our body’s muscles how much force is required during movement; this improves overall muscular control leading to a lessened risk of injury due to all activities including walking.
  • Cardiovascular Exercises: Performing aerobic activity helps increase circulation levels throughout our bodies leading to improved healing times after exercising; this ultimately helps improve overall fitness levels which often increases feelings of well-being making it easier for individuals suffering from chronic health issues like back or joint-related pains maintain active lifestyles outside the clinic walls.

How Long Recovery Takes

The length of time needed for recovery depends on several factors including the type of condition being treated, severity/duration of illness/injury prior to seeking treatment, age/fitness level, motivation, etc.. Generally speaking, however, most people begin experiencing benefits from going through formalized physical therapy sessions within four weeks; if needed further progressions in exercise intensity/complexity may lead toward complete resolution within 6-12 weeks depending on individual response.


Physical therapy can help with musculoskeletal conditions like myofascial pain syndrome and lower back pain. By utilizing techniques such as exercises, manual therapies, and postural re-education, physical therapists can provide safe, effective solutions for long-lasting relief. Contact a skilled board-certified provider to assess if PT is right for you!