Do you have back pain or sciatica pain? You’re not alone! According to the World Health Organization, low back pain is so prevalent that up to 70% of us experience it at least once in our lifetime. For many of us, this pain becomes a chronic issue.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling with signs and symptoms of sciatica or low back pain, FYZICAL Hazleton can help you find the casue of the problem and get relief.
What Is Sciatica?
In your lumbar spine (lower back), you have two large nerves exiting on the right and left sides of your spinal column. These nerves, called the sciatic nerves, are the largest in your body and provide motor and sensory input to your legs.
With sciatica, something irritates and compresses one of these nerves near the spine, causing pain, numbness, tingling, burninig sensations in the low back, buttocks and leg. In some cases it can also cause weakness in the leg muscles. Sciatica can also be referred to as lumbar radiculopathy (with radiculopathy being a general term to describe spinal nerve impingement).
What’s compressing the sciatic nerve in the first place? Often it’s an injured spinal disc. When a disc ruptures and leaks (herniates) or protrudes out of place (bulges), it can press on the nearby nerve. This may happen due to wear and tear, acute trauma, or chronic repetitive stress on the disc.
The presence of another underlying condition can cause compression of the sciatic nerve as well, including:
- Degenerative disc disease: progressive thinning and breaking down of the spinal discs due to age-related wear and tear
- Stenosis: progressive narrowing of the spaces through which the spinal cord and nerves travel
- Osteoarthritis: inflammation of spinal joints, which also leads to joint space narrowing
More rarely, sciatica can be caused by bony tumors. A more distal portion of the sciatic nerve can also be compressed by a muscle in the hip called the piriformis, in a similar yet unique condition aptly known as piriformis syndrome.
How Physical Therapy Can Diagnose & Manage Sciatica
Robust research has proven that physical therapy is effective for those who suffer from back pain or sciatica pain. It’s safe, cost-effective, drug-free, and non-invasive, and recommended by professional organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Physical therapy treatment can even reduce the need for pain medications and expensive imaging studies like MRIs and X-rays!
At FYZICAL Hazleton, we have the diagnostic tools including EMG/NCS and Ultrasound imaging that can help us find the root cause of your pain which helps us atrget the treatments to the right areas.
When a physical therapist works with you for relief from your sciatica pain, the main goal will be to reduce your symptoms and alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve so that your symptom relief is longer lasting. Additional goals will be to heal the injured tissues, reduce inflammation, improve core stability and strength, restore function, and ultimately get you on a sustainable exercise program to help you maintain your outcomes.
In order to achieve these objectives, your sciatica or low back pain plan of care may include:
- Manual therapy, including joint and soft tissue mobilizations/mobilizations, cupping, IASTM and spinal traction
- Non-invasive modalities, including Acoustic Shock Wave, cold laser therapy, electrical stimulation, and therapeutic ultrasound
- Therapeutic exercises, stretches, and evidence-based core stabilization protocols (this means scientific studies have been done to vet the exercises’ effectiveness)
Ready to find the cause of your pain and get relief? Call us today!
Are you experiencing low back pain or sciatica? If you are, you can find the cause and get relief with FYZICAL Hazleton. We are here to help you. Contact us at 570-501-1808 today or click on the link bleow to schedule an appointment.