Back Pain Sciatica

Back pain and sciatica are often related. Sciatica causes back pain, numbness and weakness that radiates along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a big nerve that travels the full length of the body, following the lumbar region of the back and down the leg all the way to the feet. Pain begins in the lower back and typically travels to the buttocks and leg.

Sciatica pain is sharp and searing. Most sciatica symptoms are a direct result of lower back abnormalities between the L4 and S1. The pressure is usually put upon the lumbar nerve root. It is important to note that sciatica is a symptom of an underlying problem. It is not a diagnosis in itself.

Causes of Sciatica

There can be a variety of root causes of sciatica, such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, facet joint dysfunction, osteoarthritis and more. The center of a lumbar disc is filled with a jelly-like substance that can break through the outer layer and press on a nearby nerve root. This nerve compression can cause nerve root pain in the back. Keep in mind that the disc walls are abundant with nerve fibers. Any tear through the wall can cause severe pain.

As people age, the lumbar discs lose hydration and wear down. There is no cushion for any impact. Tears can also develop and cause pain. This condition is known as degenerative disc disease. Facet joint dysfunction can also cause back pain and sciatica. If the cartilage of these joints is damaged or not functioning properly, the end result can be back pain or sciatica. Osteoarthritis is associated with aging. It is a condition that gradually progresses. The discs and facet joints are worn down. It causes back pain, swelling, and instability. Any trauma or compression fracture can result in sciatica, such as a car accident or a fall.

Physical Therapy Services

A physical therapist uses many techniques and forms of treatment to help eliminate sciatica. Treatment may include mobilizations, McKenzie-based therapy, manual therapy, spinal stabilization, core strengthening exercises, traction or nerve glides. These are active types of physical therapy treatment.

Passive types of physical therapy treatment include ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, massage, cold laser, and heat or ice therapy. Deep tissue massage targets muscle tension that may be compressing the sciatic nerve. Ultrasound treatment sends sound waves into muscle tissues to increase circulation and reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasms. Hot and cold therapies bring more oxygen to the affected area and help reduce spasms that may be causing both back pain and sciatica pain.

The goal of physical therapists is to help manage and eliminate pain from sciatica, improve flexibility, improve range of motion and restore the patient back to normal function. Relief for lower back pain is on the way with the help of a physical therapist. In many cases, physical therapy will result in effective and long lasting sciatica pain relief and back pain relief. It’s an effective treatment rather than drugs or surgery.

OUR SERVICES

Learn more about the
services that we offer at
Ridgeview Physical Therapy
& Wellness Center

Ridgeview Physical Therapy & Wellness Center

200 Old Pond Rd Ste 106, Bridgeville, PA 15017

Monday 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Thursday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday By Appointment

Phone: (412) 400-3434

Heather is the best! I had issues with my hips and SI joints which were causing me terrible lower back pain and I was miserable! I lived for cortisone shots.

I was in so much pain the first time she saw me. I just wanted to be pain-free! I had gone to physical therapy in the past and it did nothing for me. The therapist would give me stim and heat and tell me to do some exercises and stretches. They would never put their hands on me to do any myofascial release.

With that said, I was hesitant to go again because I thought it would be a waste of my time. Boy, I am so glad I went!!! Heather has helped me tremendously!!! She is all hands on.

She assured me at my first visit that I would get better and to give it some time. She was right! Not only are my SI joints, lower back pain, and hips better, but there is a noticeable difference in my posture, my core is stronger, and I am much more balanced than I ever have been. I don’t have pain every day and am able to go weeks without therapy. I still have some work to do and will NEVER go to another therapist!

She is so knowledgeable and is continuously researching and learning new techniques. She has experience in myofascial release which is what I needed.

I haven't mentioned how friendly and accommodating she is when it comes to her patients. Her bedside manner is like no other! She treats her patients like family. I feel like I have known Heather forever and I’ve only known her for a short time.

At Ridgeview, if you are a germaphobe like me, you will be very comfortable. It’s very clean and the rooms are tidy and spic and span! If you are looking for the best, call Heather!!! I can guarantee you won’t be sorry!!!!

Darla C.
physical therapy Bridgeville PA

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