Sciatica and Back Pain Relief
Physical Therapy Is the Key To Back Pain and Sciatica Relief
Is Back Pain or Sciatica Making the Simplest of Tasks Unbearable? Let Physical Therapy Help!
Do you ever have nagging back pain that always ruins your morning? Are you suffering from achy pain that reaches into your back, buttocks, or even thigh? Are you having to watch what you do because you fear you may throw out your back? Well, you’re not alone.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the most commonly reported pain across the nation is actually back pain. One out of every four Americans has had some form of back pain in the past three months.
Even though back pain and sciatica have noticeable differences, they are often confused with each other. Back is specific to the upper, middle or lower back. Sciatica is a more diffused, radiating pain down the buttock, thigh, and even leg.
Another possible pain is radiculopathy. This is a radiating numbness, tingling, burning, or sharp sensation and or pain centered in a specific part of the leg. This is often associated with a herniated disc, or entrapment of the nerve of that area, as it leaves the spine.
General back pain develops as the result of an injury. This can be due to repetitive straining motions, such as leaning down multiple times throughout the day to pick up a toddler, or a more dangerous and sudden trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident.
Underlying conditions, such as herniated discs, can also cause immense pain and cause radiculopathy pain to the thigh, leg, or foot. Degenerative disc disease, which can result in back pain is a common condition that begins to show itself as we get older. Those with this condition typically report dull, aching pains in their lower back, and have difficulty with standing or walking for long periods of time.
Often, we find that people lose their flexibility in the hips and pelvis, which causes the gluteus and hip muscles to become tightened. This tightening alters the mechanics of the spine, and causes compression to the sciatic nerve as it travels through these tissues.
Sciatica’s technical name is “lumbar radiculopathy.” People who develop this condition are usually between the ages of 30 and 50. Many different types of injuries can cause the development of sciatica, including arthritis, bone spurs, or any other injury that impacts the sciatic nerve.
Wondering what the difference is between back pain and sciatica?
“Back pain” is something that can be caused by a wide array of different conditions. For example, you may experience back pain because of a motor vehicle accident, a lifting injury, or even due to poor posture. The treatment plan that our Bridgewater, NJ physical therapist sets up for you, will depend on how you developed the back pain, in addition to its exact location and your past medical history.
Back pain can be described as short-term, or acute, or long-term, also called, chronic (usually lasting for three months or longer).
Sciatica is a specific type of back pain that has been previously reported as being highly uncomfortable. But fortunately, it’s also very simple to diagnose. Those with sciatica will experience pain along the largest nerve in your body, otherwise known as their sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve begins at your lower back and then splits at the base of your spine to extend further down to your buttocks, legs, and finally to the bottom of each foot. The sciatic nerve can After becoming compressed or irritated, the nerve will cause a “shooting,” “stinging,” or “burning” sensation in your lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
Get back in control with physical therapy!
For many, back pain will thankfully be a fleeting. However, what many don’t know, is that the underlying problem of poor joint movement, core weakness, and poor muscle coordination, is a catalyst for future back injury, which can be significantly worse.
Back pain and sciatica are both completely treatable through physical therapy. Our Bridgewater, NJ physical therapist creates a personalized treatment plan for you that will be tailored to your diagnosis. The early stages of your treatment will focus on quick pain relief.
As your pain reduces, our physical therapist will key in more on strengthening your core muscle group with specific therapeutic exercises and stretches. With these exercises and techniques, the goal will be to increase your strength and range of motion to prevent re-injury of your spine. Last, we teach you the ins and outs of ergonomics and ways to make sure you know how to take care of your spine in order to avoid future problems.
If you are suffering from sciatica, our physical therapists will prescribe specific leg stretches into your treatment plan designed to loosen the sciatic nerve. This restores your nerve’s natural health quickly reduces symptoms.
No matter how severe the pain may be, we will help you get on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. Make back pain and sciatica a thing of the past and request an appointment with one of our specialists at Good Hands Physical Therapy today!