Back Pain and Sciatica

Back & Sciatica Pain relief Alexandria, VA

Causes of Low Back pain

All of us have pulled a back muscle at some point, whether it is from working in the garden, lifting a heavy furniture, or from a workout gone bad. Back pain is a common diagnosis and is one of the reasons most patients end up going to see a doctor. There are several different types of issues that can cause low back pain. Unfortunately, even after extensive diagnostics sometimes it is still unclear as to cause of the pain. Common causes of low back pain include:

  • Sciatica
  • Disc Herniation
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spondylolisthesis/Spondylosis

WHAT IS SCIATICA?

Sciatica is a catch all phrase for the presentation of radiating leg symptoms that come from the back. When nerves in your lower back become pinched or compressed, the resulting pain, tingling and numbness affect your back, buttocks, groin and legs. Often, it will be one side only.

Several underlying causes can result in this nerve compression in your lower back. In most cases, sciatica can arise from a bone spur, disc degeneration, a pinched nerve, or from narrowing of the spinal canal.

WHAT TYPES OF PHYSICAL THERAPY TREAT BACK PAIN AND SCIATICA?

Working on strength, flexibility and circulation are all crucial components to treating sciatic back and lower body pain. Among the most common categories of treatments for sciatica in physical therapy are:

  • Stretching/Mobility Exercises. Sciatica often causes spasms, tightness and limited range of motion in your back and legs. Flexibility limitations in the surrounding areas of the hips can directly affect how your lumbar spine moves.
  • Most patients with low back pain have weakness in the core, spinal stabilizers, and hip muscles. Working your abs, hips and glutes will all result in stronger midline stability. Proper core/glute activation will help you pick up everything from a bag of groceries to a heavy barbell more safely.
  • Low-impact aerobics. Low impact cardiovascular exercise will help to encourage circulation of nutrients and body fluids (as well pain-killing endorphins) to the areas that need it most. Most aerobic activity can be done outside of your physical therapy session, including walking or swimming, but your therapist can show you methods to work around your sciatic stiffness and pain as you do so. Some cardiovascular exercises are more appropriate for certain types of low back pain depending on diagnosis and clinical presentation.

READY TO ERADICATE YOUR PAIN?

Our patients are often referred to us by their primary physicians or by a specialist, and we’ll continue to work with your medical team to treat the specific cause of your pain. We also frequently see patients who come to us directly without seeing a physician first. In either case, our highly trained physical therapists will also give you a full evaluation, including assessing your spinal alignment, movement patterns, strength, and flexibility.

To get started on your back pain and sciatica relief treatment plan, call our dedicated team of physical therapists today.