Back Pain and Sciatica
Back pain and related issues, such as Sciatica, are some of the most common reasons people go to the doctor, miss work, or stop participating in their regular activities. Additionally, it’s the most common condition seen in physical therapy. Approximately 80% of Americans will experience at least one episode of debilitating back pain in their lifetime.
UNDERSTANDING PAIN & SCIATICA
Back pain is a bit of a catch-all term because a variety of things can cause it. It refers to general, attention catching discomfort anywhere between the neck and the hips. The discomfort you’re feeling is most likely coming from aggravated back muscles or the bones in your spine. Back pain can result from a variety of factors, including a gym injury, bad posture, or even a car accident.
Our physical therapists are highly effective in reducing back pain and correcting the muscle imbalances that cause it.
Sciatica is pain that many don’t realize originates from an aggravated nerve, called the sciatic nerve. It starts in the low back and runs downwards into the hip, buttock, leg, and into the foot and toes. The sciatic nerve is the longest, largest nerve in the human body. When it becomes pinched or inflamed, you can’t ignore it!
It is frequently described as excruciatingly painful, with reported symptoms such as stinging, burring, or shooting pain, and almost immediately makes lying down, sitting, standing, all of these very uncomfortable.
Physical Therapy Treatment
Generally speaking, relieving general low back pain without nerve involvement is relatively straightforward. The focus is to:
1. Manage Pain. Physical Therapists utilize many modalities to eliminate pain without the addition of narcotic pain medications that many people are trying to avoid.
2. Stabilize and Strengthen. One major reason we experience back pain is due to weak back and core muscles. Strengthening those foundation muscles so they can return to effectively holding our spine in place and maintaining good posture is usually all that is needed to get your back feeling better.
3. Flex & Stretch. To relieve back and sciatica pain, a physical therapist utilizes a variety of procedures. Mobilizations, manual therapy, spinal stabilization, core strengthening exercises, traction, and nerve slides are possible treatments.
4. Education and Compliance. No matter how much treatment you seek, the magic lies in you completing your custom home exercise routine daily. : ) But don’t worry, we will teach you everything you need to know, and even upload your exercise plan into our OptimumMe app so that you can have access to it wherever you are.
More Involved Conditions Require More Complex Treatment
You may have heard of or have been diagnosed with a different, more complex back problem. These Include, but are not limited to:
|• Sciatica||• Kyphosis|
|• Arthritis||• Osteoporosis|
|• Spinal Stenosis||• Vertebral Fractures|
|• Herniated Disc||• Radiculopathy|
|• Spondylosis||• Scoliosis|
|• Ankylosing spondylitis||• Spondylolisthesis|
Our physical therapists are knowledgeable in the treatment of these conditions as well.
Physical Therapists have received years of training to learn to safely manage the pain, loss of strength and lack of mobility associated with the majority of these problems.
Physical therapy is an important part of back pain treatment. Following a review of your medical history, comprehensive assessment and testing, and thoroughly educating you on your condition and physical therapy plan, your physical therapist will construct a specific treatment plan based on your concerns and needs.
We will share these findings with your doctor and keep the rest of your health care team informed of what your plan consists of and how you are responding to it. Our goal is to help you avoid surgery and prescription pain medications. When we can’t fully avoid these treatments, we work with you before and after surgery in order to help you recover quickly, and decrease the amount of pain medications you need to be comfortable.
Schedule your appointment today!
Contact our physical therapy office to schedule a consultation if you suffer from back pain or sciatica. Physical therapy can help you get rid of back discomfort. Phoenix Physical Therapy & Wellness Center can help you get back on your feet as soon as possible, no matter how severe your pain is.