Back Pain & Sciatica Relief
The Commonalities and Differences of Back Pain and Sciatica
The American Physical Therapy Association reports that back pain is the most common type of pain across the United States. In fact, one out of every four Americans has experienced back pain in the past three months. Back pain typically develops as the result of an injury or muscle strain, but it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether it is general back pain or sciatica.
Sciatica is a specific type of back pain that is extremely common. It develops from issues surrounding the nerves and can be felt in the lower back, legs, or buttocks. Whether you’re experiencing general back pain or sciatica pain, our South Riding physical therapists are licensed and trained in helping alleviate your discomfort. They can help restore your health and get you back to your optimum levels of physical function. In many cases, physical therapy treatments can even eliminate the need for harmful pain-management drugs, such as opioids, or an invasive surgical procedure. If you are suffering from back pain, contact Chiron Physical Therapy located in the heart of Loudoun County. One of our dedicated physical therapists will design a treatment plan specific for your needs, in order to provide relief and recovery.
What’s the difference between back pain and sciatica?
The term “back pain” is used to describe any of the numerous conditions that may lead to pain in the upper or lower back. Poor posture, car accidents, and sports-related injuries can all lead to back pain. No matter what the case may be, one of our South Riding physical therapists can set up a treatment plan based on your specific back pain, its location, and your medical history.
Back pain can be described as either acute or chronic. 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 persistent severe or dull pain. The pain you experience is typically either rooted in your back muscles or the bones in your spine.
Sciatica, a specific type of back pain, is typically reported as being very uncomfortable. The silver lining is that it is also easy to diagnose. People with sciatica suffer from pain along their sciatic nerve, which is the biggest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve begins at the lower back, splitting at the base of the spine to extend down the buttocks, both legs, and the bottom of each foot. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes “pinched” or otherwise damaged in some way, thus resulting in a “shooting,” “stinging,” or “burning” sensation in the lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
How do people develop back pain and sciatica?
General back pain typically develops from an injury. This can happen suddenly, or gradually over time. Back pain commonly develops from repetitive straining motions, such as bending down multiple times to pick up heavy boxes, or from a sudden trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident. Back pain can also result from underlying conditions, such as herniated discs, which can lead to sciatica. Degenerative disc disease is another common culprit for back pain, which is typically caused by obesity or poor posture. Those who suffer from degenerative disc disease usually report feeling dull, aching, and chronic pain in their lower back.
Sciatica, also known as “lumbar radiculopathy,” is a little more difficult to understand. People who develop sciatica are typically between the ages of 30-50, and there are several different conditions that can lead to it. Among the most common include arthritis, bone spurs, or any injury that affects the sciatic nerve. Common injuries that cause sciatica development include sports-related collisions, harsh falls, herniated discs, or anything that occurs gradually over time through overuse, repetition, or general “wear and tear.”
How can I find relief?
Fortunately, back pain and sciatica are both effectively treated through physical therapy. Our licensed South Riding physical therapists will help determine your diagnosis before creating your treatment plan. The main stages of your plan will focus on pain relief, which may include any combination of light exercises, manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, posture improvement, or any other treatment that your physical therapist deems fit.
As you progress and improve, your physical therapist will expand on your exercises and stretches by making them more intensive over time. This will help increase your overall strength and range of motion.
If you are diagnosed with sciatica, specific leg stretches will be implemented into your treatment plan, in order to loosen up the sciatic nerve. The overall goal of physical therapy for back pain and sciatica is to alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and strengthen the body. At Chiron Physical Therapy, we want to help you get back to living your daily life, without having to deal about pain or discomfort.
If you are suffering from back pain or sciatica, contact our South Riding physical therapy office, located in the heart of Loudoun County today at South Riding and Chantilly, VA to schedule an appointment. Get back and sciatica pain relief with physical therapy. No matter how severe the pain may be, Chiron Physical Therapy will help relieve it so you can get back to doing the activities you love.
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. 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. Some other factors that may contribute to your back pain include degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis, fractures, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and tumors of the spine.
Back pain commonly results from a muscle strain or injury; however, it can also develop as a result of an underlying condition, such as a herniated disc, sciatica, or degenerative disc disease. Poor posture, car accidents, and sports-related injuries are also common ways that someone may develop back pain. Your physical therapist will focus on treating the root of your back pain, in order to help you regain mobility, function, and comfort.
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.
It is common that the muscles used to support the lower back may become weakened from inactivity. We’ll prescribe targeted, easy-to-do exercises that we will walk you through, in order to help your back muscles regain their strength. This will help provide greater support to your spine and reduce any inflammation you may be experiencing. While the best exercises for your back pain are relative to your specific conditions, some common ones your physical therapist may have you do include spine stretches, bridges, and pelvic tilts.