Discover Long-Term Relief for Back Pain and Sciatica with PT
You Don’t Have to Live with Persistent Pain!
Back Pain and Sciatica are the most commonly reported pain in the United States, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. One in every four Americans has experienced back pain in the last three months.
Do you ever wake up with back pain or are unable to sit comfortably? If so, you may have sciatica. While back pain and sciatica are similar, they also have differences that are frequently misunderstood. Back pain can be felt in the upper, middle, lower, or entire back. Sciatica typically causes pain to radiate down the back, buttock, thigh, and even the legs.
Whether you have back pain or sciatica, or both, you shouldn’t rely on medicines to help you mask your pain! Our New York physical therapy services can teach you how to get relief through movement, positioning, relaxation exercises and more.
New York physical therapists at Central Park Physical Therapy will get to the source of the pain you are experiencing, so they can help you provide long-term relief. In most cases, our treatments will even eliminate the need for harmful painkillers like opioids, or invasive surgical procedures.
Back pain vs. sciatica
“Back pain” is a broad term that can be caused by an array of different conditions. For example, you may experience back pain due to poor sleeping position, improper sitting posture, a fall, or an injury sustained while lifting something with poor mechanics.
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).
The treatment plan that our New York 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.
Sciatica is a type of back pain that is caused by irritation to the sciatic nerve. It is considered a type of lumbar radiculopathy. Sciatic nerve pain originates from one or more spinal nerve roots in the lumbar (lower) and/or sacral spine.
Any type of pain and/or neurological symptom that originates from the sciatic nerve is referred to as sciatica. The symptoms of sciatica are typically felt along the path of this nerve. The sciatic nerve begins at your lumbar and sacral spine and then extends further down to your buttocks, legs, and finally ends at the bottom of each foot, however as the nerve branches out it changes its name.
The sciatic nerve can become compressed or irritated, which causes a “shooting,” “stinging,” or “burning” sensation in your lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
What’s causing my back pain/sciatica?
Most commonly with sciatica, people lose flexibility in the lumbar spine, hips, and pelvis, causing the surrounding muscles to tighten. As a result, the spine mechanics become altered, and the sciatic nerve compresses as it travels through these tissues.
Sciatica can be caused by a variety of conditions, including arthritis, mechanical compression, segmental instability, repetitive strain, or any injury directly to the sciatic nerve. It can also be indirectly caused by an injury to another part of your body that creates strain somewhere else, for example: imagine hurting your big toe so bad that it causes you to limp and lean over from your waist eventually causing your lower back muscles to strain. Even if your toe recovers on its own, your lower back may not.
Herniated discs and other underlying conditions can also cause severe back pain and radiculopathy in your thigh, leg, or foot.
Degenerative disc disease is a common condition that causes back pain as we age. Those living with this condition typically experience dull, aching pain in their lower back, in addition to difficulty standing or walking for extended periods.
There are numerous reasons why you might be experiencing this type of pain, and the best way to find out for sure is to see a physical therapist. Most of the time there are multiple reasons and areas of your body contributing to your symptoms.
How can I find relief with physical therapy treatments?
While both back pain and sciatica are painful conditions to deal with, they don’t have to be when properly treated with physical therapy. Based on your diagnosis, our New York physical therapists will create a personalized treatment plan for you.
To free up the sciatic nerve, our physical therapists will teach you specific movements and create a specialized treatment plan for your body. This will be designed to quickly restore the nerve’s natural health and reduce the symptoms you are experiencing.
Ready to begin PT treatments?
Do you have any of the aforementioned back pain or sciatica symptoms? If so, you can get help from Central Park Physical Therapy right away. Our New York physical therapists are eager to assist you in getting back on your feet!