Read about the Most Frequently Asked Questions We Get About Back Pain

What can I do or what should I not do at home as far as exercise?

  • We make it easy for the patient by stating that we want them to move and be active outside of therapy.  If you are doing an activity that increases your pain/symptoms you shouldn’t be performing that activity yet.  If your symptoms are more severe we will see what they are able to do in clinic and what reduces their symptoms and give them that specific movement to do at home?

Should I get an MRI?

  • Based on your symptoms, you may not need an MRI.  We will have a very good idea on what’s going on in the spine based on your symptoms and how their symptoms behave because we see all types of back pain ALL the time.  An MRI will not dictate or change how we treat that patient because you will be treated based on your symptom presentation and how you respond to treatment. It is very likely that the MRI will show normal degeneration of the discs and vertebrae, which is common.

How is Physical Therapy going to help me?

  • We use a combination of specific lumbar and core musculature exercises to improve the strength of the primary stabilizers of the spine, which will help prevent further injury to the spine. We will perform specific hands on techniques to improve the mobility of the spine as well as to decrease any muscle tightness/guarding.

Why is my back hurting?

  • This is a loaded question because it depends on many factors.  There are a lot of pain generators in the low back that can cause pain.  Your pain can come from the vertebrae, facet joints, nerves, and surrounding tissues in the area.  We will assess you to determine the potential pain generator.

Will my back pain always be a problem for me now that I have it?

  • Back pain is a very common issue affecting about 80-90% of all people at some point in their lives. The fact that you have back pain is not a rare. Now that you have had an episode of back pain you are slightly more likely to have a re-occurrence. The important thing is to complete the physical therapy to address the back pain and that in itself will likely decrease your chance of re-occurrence.  If you continue with the exercises and stretches after therapy is over that will decrease your likelihood of the back pain returning. So, yes you are at risk for another episode of back pain, but that doesn’t mean you will always have issues and should be able to live a normal active life.

What are the consequences of not getting help?

  • If you don’t address the back pain the symptoms could continue to worsen leading to more limitations in being able to perform normal daily activities, work duties, and it could turn into a chronic issue.

What type of patients do you see for back pain?

  • We see all types of patients for back pain. Anywhere from young teenagers to older adults in their 90s.

How do you treat back pain?

    • Back pain patients first schedule an evaluation which involves a thorough physical assessment which leads us to the type of treatment that is needed.  Often, there are specific exercises and stretches for the back as well as hands on techniques to improve lumbar mobility and to address any tissue dysfunction that may be present.

Considering Back Surgery?

Physical therapy also benefits patients who are thinking about having back surgery. By participating in physical therapy before surgery, patients’ recovery time can be greatly reduced. Preparing for surgery with strengthening exercises and stretching enables patients to be in optimal condition for healing when they go into surgery. 

All patients considering treatment before surgery should first consult with their physician to rule out any contraindications for physical therapy. Unless a contraindication exists or a patient requires immediate surgery, physical therapy is often advised before and after surgery. 

Special Equipment at Idaho Spine and Sports Physical Therapy

REPEX – Repetitive Motion Therapy Table

The REPEX table is used to treat many types of back pain. The table can be adjusted for length, angle, and treatment time to optimize benefit for the patient. Candidates for the REPEX table include but are not limited to patients who have:

  • Degenerative Discs
  • Herniated or bulging Discs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Sacroiliac Syndromes


Learn more about the services that we offer at Idaho Spine and Sports Physical Therapy

Idaho Spine and Sports Physical Therapy


Monday -  Friday:
7 AM - 7 PM

Saturday - Sunday:

Boise & Meridian:


” I had lower back pain caused by standing for too long during pharmacy shadowing. After a couple of weeks of Physical Therapy I noticed great improvement not only in pain but also my overall strength. I would recommend this place because the staff are really friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.”

– Omar Aljuboori

” Idaho Spine & Sports PT is the best of the best! Jeff Taylor and his staff are professional, competent, and personable. Between the hands on therapy and my specific exercise plan designed to get me back to normal, it became obvious that I was in knowledgeable hands. I went from having limited mobility and with every tiny step I tried to take on my own to improve my physical strength, it created more pain and resulted in setbacks. I just could not seem to make any real forward progress. When I found ISSPT, I needed a clear path to mobility and elimination of chronic back pain and that is exactly what I got. I could not be happier about my results and the care I received. WIthout the straightforward help, I know I would still be in pain and struggling. I only regret not going to ISSPT sooner. My sessions were always productive, prompt, and always on time from start to stop. Beyond the expertise demonstrated, I especially appreciated the friendly atmosphere that the entire ISSPT staff helped to create. I found myself referring to them as “my new best friends” because they were always encouraging and friendly. I always felt at ease, comfortable in their care, and looked forward to their smiling faces. Now I am pain free and have the tools to continue to keep my back strong. I enthusiastically and highly recommend this clinic for your physical therapy needs! Thank you ISSPT staff!”

– Dena Pengilly

” I came in for neck and back pain after a car accident. I do have arthritis in my neck and have tried PT several times in the past that has never given me much relief. You here are amazing! Within weeks I had more relief from pain and stiffness than I had in years. Your group knows their stuff, they get in, find the problem, and fix it! They listen, share their stories and make you feel like part of a family here. I will miss you all. I have already referred my son and recommended you to others! Thank you for helping me with my pain and giving me movement back.”

– Renee Donat

I had major back pain. My lower back was always hurting to the point I didn’t enjoy leaving the house. Once I started coming to Idaho Spine & Sports I noticed a change in the way I walked, sat and how my body felt after the first visit. I am so thankful for Kristen & Jackie. I absolutely love them! They have definitely changed my life for the better!”

– Allison Robertson

“Kristen and Jackie have done a great job getting my back into a position where I can function normally again. When I first came in I could barely get dressed in the morning. Now I can do just about as much as I could do before with almost NO PAIN. Thank you both so much!”

– Mitchell Frasure

” When I first came in my back was really weak causing day to day life to be difficult. I had a fun time getting to know the great staff and most of the time they made the work feel more like fun. I now feel NO PAIN and I can enjoy the things I love to do. This staff is AWESOME!”

– Jason Lee

“My back was in some really bad pain and it was hard to do many daily activities that involved my back moving or supporting weight.  I am now stronger than before I was injured and my back feels great!  I have had no pain and am able to do all my favorite activities like running, skiing and biking.  The people here are awesome and really care about the patients.  They let you know what is going on right away and are very knowledgeable.  The treatment feels great and it is nice to talk with the therapists.  This is an awesome physical therapy place!”

-Jeff Mickelson

“Before coming to PT, I was very weak and falling often.  I was also having severe back pain.  Alex helped tremendously with my pain and also helped with my breathing.  My leg strength has improved quite a bit and I am having a lot less falls.  I would recommend ISSPT to others because they are innovative and very helpful!”

-Hannah Davis

“I took a vacation and was doing a lot of walking up and down stairs and about 5 days after I returned home, my back was hurting and having spasms.  My doctor sent me to physical therapy.  About a month into therapy my back was feeling a lot better.  Then I fell on the ice flat on my back on the right side and pulled my muscles.  I had xrays and no broken bones or cracks.  The rest of my therapy was to strengthen the muscles I had pulled.  I will continue exercising at home and I also go to Curves to exercise.  The therapists have given me a lot of exercising, coaching, and direction for me to continue to strengthen my back.  They are very helpful!”

-Joyce Winn

“My back pain was severe.  After many sessions of physical therapy my pain was much less.  Jeff really helped me improve my mobility.  I would recommend Idaho Spine and Sports Physical Therapy if you wish to return to your normal physical ability.”

-Leslie Harned

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