Back Pain and Sciatica Relief

Back Pain Relief & 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 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. Solutions Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine include common causes of low back pain:

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


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.


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 as 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 physical 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 the diagnosis and clinical presentation.


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, contact us at Alexandria, VA center our dedicated team of physical therapists today.



What are the causes of back pain?

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.

Why does my back hurt?

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.

How can 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 are the best exercises for back pain?

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.