Back & Sciatica Pain Relief Happy Valley & Sandy, OR

Back Pain & Sciatica Relief

Picture20 150x150 Back Pain & Sciatica Relief

I won two medals at my meet!

I had back pain that made riding the bus to work painful and I was concerned that I was not going to be able to compete in my track and field events. After just a few visits my back was feeling better and I was able to not only compete but won two medals at my meet, qualifying for the state Special Olympics. Riding the bus to work no longer hurts my back and I am more comfortable at work.  I would recommend Ascent Physical therapy to a friend if they had back pain.

Michelle M.

Back pain and sciatica pain are closely related medical conditions. Many times, sciatica pain is the result of a medical back problem. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body and consists of nerve roots in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the back of each leg. Portions of this nerve branch out to the thigh, calf, foot, and toes. Sciatica nerve pain is often characterized by the following symptoms.

  • Low back pain that radiates down the leg
  • Leg pain with burning and tingling
  • Numbness in the leg or feet
  • Continual pain on one side of the buttock
  • Sharp pain
  • Trouble sitting and getting up

It’s important to note that sciatica is not a medical diagnosis in itself. It is actually a symptom of an underlying problem. And the root cause must be identified for effective treatment. Common lower back problems that can cause sciatica include degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis, lumbar herniated disc, and spondylolisthesis.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Disc degeneration is a natural process that often occurs as we age. But, for some people, it can occur young. One or more degenerated discs in the spine or lower back can irritate a nerve root and cause sciatica. This disease is diagnosed when a weakened disc is exposed. Bone spurs may also develop with disc degeneration and cause sciatica.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis is caused by a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal. It’s also common in the aging process and typically affects those over 50. It can be a result of a bulging disc, enlarged facet joints, arthritis or an overgrowth of soft tissue. Whatever the cause, it can result in back pain and sciatica pain.

Lumbar Herniated Disc

This condition occurs when the soft gel material of the disc leaks out and passes through the outer core. It irritates the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc. It’s also known as bulging disc, slipped disc, ruptured disc or protruding disc.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis occurs when a small stress fracture causes one vertebra to slip forward on another. There’s then a disc space collapse. The nerve can get pinched and result in sciatica. Sciatica pain can range from mild to severe.

Treatment for Back Pain, Sciatica Pain, and Low Back Pain: Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for these conditions is effective and usually has two components: passive and active. Passive physical therapy modalities consist of ultrasound, TENS units, heat and ice packs, and iontophoresis. Active physical therapy modalities include stretching exercises, back exercises, and low-impact aerobic conditioning. Physical therapists typically recommend 20 minutes of dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises per day. Core muscle strengthening is also important in the treatment of back pain. Low-impact aerobics are also important and include water therapy, biking, and walking.

Physical therapy is an important component of treating medical issues of the back. When you meet with a physical therapist, there will be a full assessment. Tests will be done and an individualized treatment plan will be developed based on your goals. Your physical therapist is your coach who will help you eliminate pain, perform daily tasks and improve overall general health.

If you’re suffering from back pain, sciatica pain or low back pain, don’t wait any longer for relief. You don’t have to suffer. Contact us at Happy Valley & Sandy, OR centers to set up a one-on-one consultation and full evaluation. Our physical therapists are certified, experienced and committed to helping you feel better. They’ve helped many others recover from back issues and can help you too.

FAQs

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

The pain you experience in your back may either be acute or chronic, depending on how it was sustained. 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. If your pain is severe enough to hinder you from doing daily tasks, if it suddenly worsens, or if it has lasted longer than three months, then it is time to seek the help of a physical therapist.

How do I get relief from back pain?

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.

What is the best physical therapy treatment for back pain?

Your physical therapist will design a treatment plan based on your specific needs. Your individualized treatment plan will incorporate the best methods possible for relieving your pain, facilitating the healing process, and restoring function and movement to the affected area(s) of your back. Your initial appointment will consist of a comprehensive evaluation, which will help your physical therapist discover which forms of treatment will be best for the orthopedic, neurologic, or cardiovascular condition you are experiencing. 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 your physical therapist may deem fit. While there is no singular method for relieving back pain, your physical therapist will make sure you receive the best treatments for your needs.

How do you relieve back pain without drugs?

While medication is easy, it only helps your pain subside for a short amount of time. Over time, certain drugs can cause some unfavorable side effects, and in some cases, they can be habit-forming. With NSAIDs, you run the risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. With corticosteroids, you run the risk of cataracts, high blood sugar levels, and bone loss. Luckily, there is a much safer and healthier alternative to treating persistent back pain: physical therapy. At your initial consultation, your physical therapist will ask you several questions regarding your medical history, lifestyle, and painful area(s). This information will assist your physical therapist in creating the best treatment plan for you and your specific needs, so you can be provided with long-term results.