Are you battling chronic low back pain or sciatic pain?
We have all bent over or twisted at one point or another leading to a ‘tweak’ of the back. Usually we treat it with a few days of rest, ice, heat and maybe even ibuprofen and then forget it ever happened. What we might not realize is that this little tweak years ago might end up manifesting as chronic back pain or acute sciatic pain. If you find yourself avoiding certain activities that used to be your norm, read on.
What is chronic low back or sciatic pain?
When you ‘tweak’ your back, your spine begins the process of tightening down as a self-protective mechanism. You can have a bulging disk, degenerative joints, joint restriction, muscle spasm and nerve compression. These issues can lead to local pain and/or referred pain, numbness, tingling and even weakness. Referred pain can end up anywhere from the back down to the toes. Often your symptoms will be one sided.
We find several possible underlying causes for this to happen. While not exhaustive, this list includes the following possible causes: segmental restrictions, core weakness, faulty movement patters, trauma, tightness of the hips, restriction in the ankles, sacroiliac dysfunction and while rare, there can even be a cyst or tumor. These issues can place added stress to the lumbar spine which is the first to ‘break down’.
Will physical therapy help my back pain and sciatica?
Yes, it can! The keys to recovery from even chronic low back pain are figuring out the underlying cause – is it your back, your Sacroiliac joint (pelvis), your hips, ankles… Once your therapist figures out the underlying cause or causes, she/he will develop a treatment plan and begin working on your posture, flexibility, strength, stability and circulation. Your treatments may consist of a combination of education regarding posture and movement mechanics, hands on physical therapy techniques such as manual therapy or neuromuscular re-education and guided functional therapeutic activities with a well-rounded home program to get you back in action.
Ready to take action?
Often times your primary care doctor or specialist will refer you for physical therapy. Washington state is a direct access state meaning that you can also (depending on your insurance plan) self-refer to physical therapy. Either way, our highly trained physical therapists work hard to help you Reach Your Peak! You will spend 55 minutes, learning, working, being worked on.
Take the first step in helping yourself get rid of that nagging low back pain or sciatic pain and call our dedicated team of physical therapists today.