Sciatica & Back Pain Relief
Living with Back Pain? You’re Not Alone
Physical Therapy Can Help You Find Relief for Back Pain and Sciatica
If you wake up in the morning with back pain or notice nagging aches in your back, buttock, or thighs, physical therapy in Denver, CO can help you find relief.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, back pain is the most commonly reported pain across the nation, and one out of every four Americans has experienced back pain in the past three months.
While back pain and sciatica are similar, they still have their differences and are often confused with one another. Back pain is found specifically in the upper, middle or lower back. Sciatica is a more diffuse, radiating pain down the buttock, thigh, and even leg. It is also possible to have radiculopathy, which is a radiating numbness, tingling, burning, or sharp pain to a specific part of the leg. This is often associated with a herniated disc, or entrapment of the nerve in that area, as it exits the spine.
At Infinity Physical Therapy, our Denver, CO physical therapists will get to the root of the problem and provide long-lasting relief. In many cases, our treatments are even able to eliminate the need for harmful painkilling drugs, such as opioids, or an invasive surgical procedure. If you are suffering from back pain or sciatica, don’t rely on medicines to help you mask the pain.
PT treatment for back pain and sciatica
While back pain may come and go, it is always important to treat it right away. If not, it can lead to poor joint movement, core weakness, and poor muscle coordination, which can all lead to unwanted injuries in the future.
Back pain and sciatica are both completely treatable through physical therapy. Our Denver, CO physical therapist will create a specific treatment plan for you based upon your diagnosis.
The early stages of your physical therapy treatment will focus on quick pain relief. Afterward, our physical therapist will expand your treatment to include strengthening your core muscle group with specific therapeutic exercises and stretches. This helps improve your strength and range of motion to prevent re-injury of your spine. Our physical therapist will also provide you with ergonomic techniques for taking care of your spine during daily activities, such as sitting at a desk or driving.
For the treatment of sciatica, our physical therapists will implement a specific treatment plan to alleviate the pressure on the irritated nerve.
What caused my back pain and sciatica?
General back pain typically develops as the result of an injury. This can be due to repetitive straining motions, such as leaning down multiple times throughout the day to pick up a toddler, or a more serious, sudden trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident.
Underlying conditions, such as herniated discs, can also cause immense pain, and cause radiculopathy pain to the thigh, leg, or foot. Degenerative disc disease is a common condition as we age, which can result in back pain. Those with this condition typically report dull, aching pains in their lower back, and have difficulty with prolonged standing or walking.
Sciatica’s technical name is “lumbar radiculopathy.” People who develop this condition are generally between the ages of 30 and 50. Many different types of injuries can cause the development of sciatica, including arthritis, bone spurs, or any other injury that impacts the sciatic nerve.
Most commonly, we find that people lose their flexibility in the hips and pelvis, which increases the loading of the spine with daily activities such as walking and traversing stairs. In turn, this can begin to break down the structures of the lumbar spine, such as the disc, joint capsules, and ligaments, leading to pain and dysfunction.
Back pain and sciatica – defined
For most people, sciatica is a poorly understood condition. There are actually two different types of sciatica, a true neurologic sciatica, and what is known as a somatic sciatica. The difference, while seeming complicated, is actually quite simple. A neurologic sciatica is caused by irritation of nerve tissue, either in the lumbar spine, or along the course of the sciatic nerve. A somatic sciatica is caused by the reference of pain from a non-neurological structure, such as a joint or muscle. Both produce leg pain, and both can be worse with changes in position/activity.
“Back pain” is a term that can be caused by an array of different conditions. For example, you may experience back pain due to poor posture, a motor vehicle accident, or a lifting injury. The treatment plan that our Denver, CO physical therapist sets up for you, will depend on how you developed the back pain, in addition to its exact location and your past medical history.
Back pain can be described as acute, meaning it is short-term, or chronic, meaning it is long-term (typically lasting for three months or longer).
Find relief for your back pain and/or sciatica today
If you are experiencing the symptoms of back pain or sciatica, find relief with Infinity Physical Therapy today. Schedule an appointment to get started on the first steps toward recovery and living a comfortable life.