Back Pain & Sciatica
Relieve the Pains in Your Back with Physical Therapy
Do you wake up in the morning with that nagging back pain? Are you feeling achy pain in your back, buttock, or even thigh? Are you having to watch what you do, because you are afraid you may hurt your back? If so, physiotherapy can help.
Back pain and sciatica differ but are often confused with each other. Back is specific to the upper, mid or low back. Sciatica is a more diffuse, radiating pain down the buttock, thigh, and even leg. 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 of that area, as it exits the spine.
If you are searching for back pain relief or sciatica relief, don’t rely on medicines to mask the symptoms. Your body is telling you of the deeper root cause of the problem, that needs to be fixed. Know that physiotherapy should be your first treatment of choice, which eliminates your need for harmful painkilling drugs, such as opioids, or possibly avoid an invasive surgical procedure.
How will physiotherapy help with my back pain or sciatica?
For most people, back pain will come and go. However, what many people don’t realize, is that the underlying problem of poor joint movement, adverse neurodynamics (the ability of the nervous system to slide, glide and tolerate tension) and poor muscle coordination, can leave them at risk for future episodes of back pain.
Back pain and sciatica typically respond very well to physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist creates a specific treatment plan for you that is dependent upon your diagnosis and goals. The early stages of your physiotherapy treatment focus on pain relief.
As your pain reduces, your physiotherapist will expand on strengthening with specific therapeutic exercises and stretches. The goal here is to increase your strength and range of motion to prevent re-injury of your spine. Finally, we teach you ergonomics and ways to make sure you know how to take care of your spine, avoiding future problems.
If you are suffering from sciatica, our physiotherapists will implement specific leg stretches into your treatment plan to mobilize the sciatic nerve. This restores the natural health of the nerve and quickly reduces symptoms.
How can I tell if it’s back pain or sciatica?
Sciatica is a specific type of pain affecting the buttock and/or back of the leg. However, it is also fortunately very simple to diagnose. People with sciatica experience pain and sometimes numbness and tingling along their sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in your body.
The sciatic nerve is formed by five nerve roots which exit the spine in the lower back. This nerve supplies muscles and sensation of your buttocks, legs, and finally to the bottom of each foot. The sciatic nerve can become compressed or irritated, which causes a “shooting,” “stinging,” or “burning” sensation in your lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
“Back pain” is a term that can be caused by an array of different conditions. For example, you may experience back pain due to poor posture, a motor vehicle accident, or a lifting injury. The treatment plan that your Orillia, Ontario physiotherapist sets up for you, will depend on how you developed the back pain, in addition to its exact location and your past medical history.
What caused my 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 and degenerative disc disease are quite common and surprisingly they are usually painless. However, your physiotherapist will be able to determine the extent to which these changes are impacting your back pain or sciatica.
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Sciatica’s technical name is “lumbar radiculopathy.” Many different factors can contribute to the development of sciatica. Quite commonly, we find that a loss of mobility in the lumbar spine, hips and pelvis, leads to weakness and tightness in the gluteus and hip muscles. This alters the mechanics of the spine causing compression of the sciatic nerve as it travels through these tissues.
Contact us for relief
If you are experiencing back pain or sciatica, make an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists at Lake Country Physiotherapy. No matter how severe the pain may be, we will help you get on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.