Back Pain & Sciatica Relief
What’s Causing Your Back Pain?
The American Physical Therapy Association states that back pain is the most commonly experienced form of pain for Americans. In fact, one in every four Americans has sustained some sort of back pain in the past three months. Back pain commonly results from a muscle strain or injury; however, sometimes the back pain you’re experiencing is the result of sciatica.
Sciatica is a common and very specific type of back pain. People who experience sciatica typically report a painful sensation in the lower back, legs, or buttocks, as it is a condition that develops from issues surrounding the nerves.
Whether you’re experiencing general back pain or sciatica, our Leesburg and Lansdowne physical therapy practice can help. Contact Loudoun Physical Therapy today to schedule an evaluation with one of our licensed physical therapists and find the best treatment plan for back pain relief!
Understanding the difference between back pain and sciatica:
There are a large number of conditions that can result in back pain. For example, poor posture, car accidents, and sports-related injuries are just a few of the ways that someone may develop back pain.
The pain you experience may either be acute or chronic, depending on what caused your back in the first place. 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.
Sciatica, medically referred to as “lumbar radiculopathy,” is a bit different from general back pain. It can be extremely uncomfortable, but the good news is that it is fairly easy to diagnose. Sciatica is caused by a “pinch” or additional damage to the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body. It begins at the lower back, splits at the base of the spine, and extends down the buttocks, legs, and feet. The sensation of sciatica can be described as “stinging,” “burning,” or “shooting” down the lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
Why do I have back pain or sciatica?
Injury is the most common cause of back pain. This can happen in one of two ways: 1) an instant, sudden trauma, such as a car accident, or 2) repetitive use that puts excessive stress on the back over time, such as bending down several times throughout the week to pick up boxes. It is also possible for back pain to develop from certain underlying conditions, such as a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease.
Sciatica typically affects people between the ages of 30-50, and it can develop for a number of reasons. Certain conditions can lead to sciatica, such as bone spurs, arthritis, or any injury that affects the sciatic nerve. Injuries can also lead to sciatica, such as herniated discs, harsh falls, sports-related collisions, or anything that occurs gradually over time through overuse, repetition, or general “wear and tear.”
Find back pain relief with Loudoun Physical Therapy:
If you have been living with back pain or sciatica, don’t hesitate to contact Loudoun Physical Therapy for safe and effective treatment options. Our highly-trained Leesburg and Lansdowne physical therapists will design an individualized treatment plan just for you. In order to provide you with immediate pain relief, you may be prescribed any combination of ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, posture improvement, targeted stretches, and exercises, or any other treatment that our physical therapist deems fit.
As you improve throughout your treatment program, your exercises and stretches will become more intense over time. This is done in order to improve your strength and range of motion. Those diagnosed with sciatica will also likely be prescribed specific leg stretches, in order to loosen up the sciatic nerve.
At Loudoun Physical Therapy, our main goals are to help you relieve your pain, improve your strength, and reach your optimum levels of function. If your back pain or sciatica symptoms have been limiting your daily life, contact us today! We will help you reach your physical goals so you can get back to living your daily life, free from back pain or sciatica discomfort.
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.
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.
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.
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.