Back & Sciatica Pain Relief Scarsdale, NY

Back Pain & Sciatica Pain Relief

Back pain comes in all shapes and sizes. It may be chronic, acute or sudden. Lower back pain is very common with age and can limit your daily activities. Physical therapy can help with many different types of back pain. The first step is determining the cause of your pain.

The Relationship Between Back Pain and Sciatica

Sciatica is often caused by a herniated disk in the lower back. The vertebrae are the bones that make up the spine. Round disks of connective tissues separate and cushion the vertebrae. If a disk gets injured or overused, it’s center can push out from the hard-outer ring. This is when the disk herniates. It puts pressure on the surrounding nerves and causes a lot of pain. The most characteristic sign of sciatica is that the pain runs from the lower back to the side or back of the legs. Other symptoms include sharp pain, tingling and numbness in the leg. Keep in mind that the sciatic nerve is the longest in the human body. Any impingement of it can cause pain in the lower back, legs and feet. Most people who get back pain and sciatica are between 30 to 50 years of age.

Some doctors refer to sciatica as radiculopathy. If it affects the lower back, it is referred to as lumbar radiculopathy. There are sets of paired nerve roots in the lower spine that combine to make the sciatic nerve. Radiculopathy occurs not only when there is compression of a nerve root due to a herniated disk, but it can occur due to a bone spur. In addition, compression of a nerve root can occur due to a bulging disk, trauma, spinal tumors and lumbar spinal stenosis. Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when the spine’s passageways become narrow causing nerve compression of the sciatic nerve. Trauma from sports or motor vehicle accidents can damage or compress the sciatic nerve.

How Physical Therapy Can Help Back Pain and Sciatica

The goals of any physical therapy treatment plan are to reduce pain, increase function and provide a maintenance program for back pain and sciatica. Typically, the treatment plan is comprised of two components-active exercises and passive modalities. The exercise regimen may consist of strengthening, stretching and aerobic conditioning. Core muscle training is also a part of a good lower back pain treatment plan. It’s important that these exercises are done properly and consistently.

Passive modalities used in a physical therapy treatment plan for back pain and sciatica may include heat and cold therapy, ultrasound and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) units. Heat and cold therapy are used to reduce muscle spasm, inflammation and pain. With ultrasound, deep heating is applied to the soft tissues through sound waves. It is known not only to help relieve pain but to enhance healing. A TENS unit uses electrical stimulation to override pain signals sent to the brain. If it is successful, a TENS unit can be used long term.

All around, research has proven that physical therapy is effective for those who suffer from back pain or sciatica pain. It’s also safe. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends it. “Physical therapists partner with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals to manage pain, often reducing or eliminating the need for opioids. Research has shown that a simple education session with a physical therapist can lead to improved function, improved range of motion and decreased pain.”

Are you suffering from back pain or sciatica? Get relief with physical therapy. Call us today at Scarsdale & Thornwood NY and learn more about how our physical therapists can help you live a pain-free life.

FAQs

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

The pain you experience in your back may either be acute or chronic, depending on how it was sustained. Acute pain means that it lasts for a short time and is usually severe. Chronic pain means that it lasts generally three months or longer and it can either cause dull or severe persistent pain. The pain you experience is typically either rooted in your back muscles or the bones in your spine. If your pain is severe enough to hinder you from doing daily tasks, if it suddenly worsens, or if it has lasted longer than three months, then it is time to seek the help of a physical therapist.

How do 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 is the best physical therapy treatment for back pain?

Your physical therapist will design a treatment plan based on your specific needs. Your individualized treatment plan will incorporate the best methods possible for relieving your pain, facilitating the healing process, and restoring function and movement to the affected area(s) of your back. Your initial appointment will consist of a comprehensive evaluation, which will help your physical therapist discover which forms of treatment will be best for the orthopedic, neurologic, or cardiovascular condition you are experiencing. The main stages of your plan will focus on pain relief, which may include any combination of ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, posture improvement, targeted stretches and exercises, or any other treatment that your physical therapist may deem fit. While there is no singular method for relieving back pain, your physical therapist will make sure you receive the best treatments for your needs.

How do you relieve back pain without drugs?

While medication is easy, it only helps your pain subside for a short amount of time. Over time, certain drugs can cause some unfavorable side effects, and in some cases, they can be habit-forming. With NSAIDs, you run the risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. With corticosteroids, you run the risk of cataracts, high blood sugar levels, and bone loss. Luckily, there is a much safer and healthier alternative to treating persistent back pain: physical therapy. At your initial consultation, your physical therapist will ask you several questions regarding your medical history, lifestyle, and painful area(s). This information will assist your physical therapist in creating the best treatment plan for you and your specific needs, so you can be provided with long-term results.

Rocco G.
This place is the best. I am a union Firefighter and got badly hurt on the job. I hurt my back so bad, I couldn't walk! I went here for PT, after 3 months I was walking normal again. I highly recommend this place! They are worth every dollar.

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Rosemary C.
I have been very blessed and fortunate to have met Karn when I needed to find a Physical therapist trained in Graston to help delay an inevitable hip replacement surgery. Not only was goal met - I had been critical list and within short period of time went from critical immediate to when it’s convenient and you’d like to schedule - not only was I able to schedule the surgery when it was convenient a year later I was in excellent shape, back to work in 2-weeks and back in the tennis court in two months. That was ten years ago. Karn has been and continues to be my trusted resource go-to guide and Physical Therapist ever since. I’ve been through many injuries. Tennis and life: shoulder, knee, ankle, wrist - and through it all - nys&s has always gotten me back on the court! My gratitude to you Karn and team always!
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