Back Pain & Sciatica Pain Relief

%name Back Pain & Sciatica Pain ReliefIf you’re dealing with back pain, whether it’s due to sciatica or some other cause, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, back pain is so common that 8 out of 10 people will deal with it during their lifetime. Dealing with back pain can be a challenge because it requires a special approach if you want long term results. Physical therapy is your most powerful weapon against back pain and sciatica because it gives genuine relief and lasting results. Contact our physical therapist today to get the low back pain and sciatica relief you need.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition in which the sciatic nerve — the longest nerve in the human body — is damaged in some way, typically through severe compression or inflammation. Your sciatic nerve starts in your lower back and travels all the way down each of your legs, and when you have sciatica the pain may follow this same route.

The main symptom of sciatica is low back pain, but you may also have other symptoms such as numbness in the leg. Some sciatica sufferers also have an unpleasant tingling sensation centered in their feet.

Causes of Sciatica

The nerve damage that causes sciatica can happen in several different ways. One common cause of sciatica is herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc. Disc herniation happens when one of your discs moves out of its normal place between two of your lumbar vertebrae. As the disc moves, it pressures your sciatic nerve, and this causes sciatica symptoms like low back pain.

While herniated disc is the most common cause of sciatica, there are other potential causes as well. These can include:

  • Spinal stenosis: when your spinal cord narrows and compresses the sciatic nerve.
  • Spondylolisthesis: when one of your lower back vertebrae slips out of place, often putting pressure on another vertebrae and trapping the sciatic nerve.
  • Degenerative disc disease: this is more likely to happen as the body ages. When the discs begin to wear down, they start thinning and can cause disc, vertebrae, and sciatic nerve issues including sciatica.
  • Osteoarthritis: when you have osteoarthritis, your spinal joints are highly inflamed. This causes so much swelling that it can impact the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica.

How Physical Therapy Helps Sciatica and Low Back Pain

Research has repeatedly proven that physical therapy is highly effective for sciatica and back pain relief. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended physical therapy for non-invasive pain relief.

Physical therapy is the most powerful way to fight sciatica and low back pain for one simple reason: it focuses on actually dealing with — and eliminating — the pain at its source. In contrast, taking medications like pain relievers only gives you short term symptom relief. After a few hours, you’ll need more medication and your symptoms will remain. After physical therapy, your back pain and sciatica symptoms will actually be resolved for the long term.

Your physical therapist will perform a complete assessment to determine the origin of your pain and will then customize a plan for back pain and sciatica relief. Your treatment focuses on relieving the pressure on your sciatic nerve, healing damaged tissue, and alleviating inflammation. You’ll also grow stronger, improve your range of motion, and take steps to decrease the odds of re-injury in the future.

Some of the treatments used for sciatica and low back pain include:

The non-invasive physical therapy techniques used by our team are specially chosen for two reasons: for your specific needs and for their high effectiveness rates. Your physical therapist will use the best in evidence-based treatments to help you beat sciatica pain, both now and for the long term. Contact us today or visit our center at San Dimas, CA.

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FAQs

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

The pain you experience in your back may either be acute or chronic, depending on how it was sustained. Acute pain means that it lasts for a short time and is usually severe. Chronic pain means that it lasts generally three months or longer and it can either cause dull or severe persistent pain. The pain you experience is typically either rooted in your back muscles or the bones in your spine. If your pain is severe enough to hinder you from doing daily tasks, if it suddenly worsens, or if it has lasted longer than three months, then it is time to seek the help of a physical therapist.

How do I get relief from back pain?

You can treat your back pain with physical therapy. Physical therapy can address back pain by helping to improve your range of motion, strengthening the muscles in the affected areas, and using targeted massage to reduce tension. In many situations, working with a physical therapist to improve can significantly reduce the severity of your back pain, and may even help you avoid more invasive procedures, such as surgery.

What is the best physical therapy treatment for back pain?

Your physical therapist will design a treatment plan based on your specific needs. Your individualized treatment plan will incorporate the best methods possible for relieving your pain, facilitating the healing process, and restoring function and movement to the affected area(s) of your back. Your initial appointment will consist of a comprehensive evaluation, which will help your physical therapist discover which forms of treatment will be best for the orthopedic, neurologic, or cardiovascular condition you are experiencing. The main stages of your plan will focus on pain relief, which may include any combination of ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, posture improvement, targeted stretches and exercises, or any other treatment that your physical therapist may deem fit. While there is no singular method for relieving back pain, your physical therapist will make sure you receive the best treatments for your needs.

How do you relieve back pain without drugs?

While medication is easy, it only helps your pain subside for a short amount of time. Over time, certain drugs can cause some unfavorable side effects, and in some cases, they can be habit-forming. With NSAIDs, you run the risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. With corticosteroids, you run the risk of cataracts, high blood sugar levels, and bone loss. Luckily, there is a much safer and healthier alternative to treating persistent back pain: physical therapy. At your initial consultation, your physical therapist will ask you several questions regarding your medical history, lifestyle, and painful area(s). This information will assist your physical therapist in creating the best treatment plan for you and your specific needs, so you can be provided with long-term results.