Back Pain & Sciatica
Are You Suffering from Back Pain or Sciatica? Physical Therapy Can Help
PT Can Help You Find Natural, Safe, and Effective Pain Relief!
If you wake up in the morning with back pain or notice nagging aches in your back, buttocks, or thighs, physical therapy can help you find relief. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, back pain is the most commonly reported pain across the nation, and one out of every four Americans has experienced back pain in the past three months.
At ReQuest Physical Therapy, our team of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants will get to the root of your back pain and provide long-lasting relief. In many cases, our treatments are even able to eliminate the need for harmful painkilling drugs, such as opioids, or an invasive surgical procedure. If you are suffering from back pain or sciatica, don’t rely on medicines to help you mask the pain, request an appointment and get the relief you need.
Do I have back pain or sciatica?
While back pain and sciatica are similar, they still have their differences and are often confused with one another.
Back pain can be caused by an array of conditions. Back pain is found specifically in the upper, middle, or lower back. For example, you may experience back pain due to poor posture, a motor vehicle accident, or a lifting injury. The treatment plan that our 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 acute, meaning it is short-term, or chronic, meaning it is long-term (typically lasting for three months or longer).
Sciatica is more spread out with radiating pain down the course of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in your body. The sciatic nerve begins in your lower back and splits at the base of your spine to extend down to your buttocks, legs, and the bottom of each foot. It is highly uncomfortable but easy to diagnose.
When the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated, it causes a “shooting,” “stinging,” or “burning” sensation in your lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet. It is also possible to have radiculopathy, which is a radiating numbness, tingling, burning, or sharp pain to a specific part of the leg. This is often associated with a herniated disc, or entrapment of the nerve in that area, as it exits the spine.
What causes back pain or sciatica?
General back pain typically 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 serious, sudden trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident.
Underlying conditions, such as herniated discs, can also cause immense pain and/or radiculopathy to the thigh, leg, or foot. Degenerative disc disease is a common condition as we age, which can result in back pain. Those with this condition typically report dull, aching pains in their lower back, and have difficulty with prolonged standing or walking.
Sciatica’s technical name is “lumbar radiculopathy.” People who develop this condition are generally 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.
Most commonly, we find that people lose their flexibility in the hips and pelvis, which causes the gluteus and hip muscles to become tightened. This, in turn, alters the mechanics of the spine and compresses the sciatic nerve as it travels through these tissues.
What will my PT treatments for back pain or sciatica look like?
The early stages of your physical therapy treatment for back pain or sciatica will focus on quick pain relief. After the pain is controlled, our team of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants will expand your treatment to include stretching and strengthening your lower body and abdominal muscles with specific therapeutic exercises and stretches. This helps improve your strength and range of motion to prevent re-injury of your spine. Our team will also provide you with ergonomic techniques for taking care of your spine during daily activities, such as sitting at a desk or driving.
While back pain may come and go, it is always important to treat it right away. Left alone, it can lead to poor joint movement, abdominal weakness, and poor muscle coordination, which can all lead to unwanted injuries in the future. Back pain and sciatica are both treatable with physical therapy. Our clinicians will create a specific treatment plan for you based on your diagnosis.
For the treatment of sciatica, our physical therapists will work to free up the sciatic nerve along its entire course. This restores the natural health of the nerve and quickly reduces symptoms.
Get started today!
If you are in Gainesville or Newberry, FL, and are experiencing the symptoms of back pain or sciatica, Contact us today to discuss your specific needs without any obligation. If you’re ready to move forward, you can schedule your initial evaluation and get started on the road to recovery and living a comfortable life.