Back Pain & Sciatica Relief
Back Pain vs. Sciatica: What’s the Difference?
Did you know that one in every four Americans has experienced back pain within the past three months? According to the American Physical Therapy Association, back pain is the most commonly experienced type of pain across the United States. It usually develops from a muscle strain or injury, but sometimes your discomfort may not be just general back pain, it could be sciatica.
Sciatica, while it still falls under the definition of “back pain” is a very specific type. It is also incredibly common. Sciatica is typically felt in the lower back, legs, or buttocks, and it develops from issues surrounding the nerves. Whether you’re experiencing general back pain or sciatica pain, our licensed physical therapists can help relieve your symptoms and restore you to 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 Focus Physical Therapy today. One of our dedicated physical therapists will design a treatment plan specific for your needs, in order to provide relief and recovery.
Why do back pain and sciatica occur?
The most common cause of back pain is from sustaining an injury. This can happen in one of two ways – from an instant, sudden trauma (such as a car accident) or from a repetitive-use injury that develops gradually over time (such as bending down multiple times throughout the week to pick up heavy boxes). Back pain can also result from underlying conditions, such as herniated discs, which can also 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 chronic dull aches in their lower back.
The medical term for sciatica is “lumbar radiculopathy,” and unlike general back pain, it is a bit harder to understand. Sciatica typically affects people aged 30-50, and there are several different ways in which it can develop. 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.”
Knowing the difference:
“Back pain” is an all-encompassing term used to describe a vast number of conditions that cause pain in the upper or lower back. Sports-related injuries, poor posture, and car accidents are just a few of the many ways that someone can develop back pain.
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 dull or severe persistent pain. The pain you experience is typically either rooted in your back muscles or the bones in your spine.
No matter what the case may be, one of our physical therapists can set up a treatment plan based on your specific back pain, its location, and your medical history.
Those who have experienced sciatica typically report it as being very uncomfortable. Fortunately, it is also fairly easy to diagnose.
Sciatica pain is typically reported as being very uncomfortable. 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 ends at the bottom of each foot.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes “pinched” or otherwise damaged in some way, thus resulting in a “stinging,” “burning,” or “shooting” sensation in the lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
Contact Focus Physical Therapy:
If you’re suffering from back pain or sciatica, you can find safe and effective treatments with physical therapy. Our highly-trained Santa Clarita 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 ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, posture improvement, targeted stretches and exercises, or any other treatment that our physical therapist deems fit.
As you progress and improve, our 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. Those diagnosed with sciatica will likely be prescribed specific leg stretches, in order to loosen up the sciatic nerve.
The overall goal of physical therapy for back pain and sciatica is to relieve pain, strengthen the body, and improve overall function. At Focus Physical Therapy, we want to help you get back to living your daily life, without having to worry about pain or discomfort.
If you are suffering from back pain or sciatica, contact our Santa Clarita physical therapy office today to schedule your initial consultation at Newhall, Santa Clarita, CA. Get sciatica pain relief with physical therapy. No matter how severe the pain may be, Focus 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.