Sciatica & Lower Back Pain
Living with Back Pain or Sciatica? We’ve Got Your Back
Studies show at least 80% of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their life. The question that arises with this statistic is how many of these 80% will return to normal function with the same level of confidence in their back after the typical 4-6 week recovery? As well, the spine is often a repeat offender and so with each “going out” one will potentially lose more confidence and control over the problem. The spine is a complex movement system that when injured can often harbor ongoing imbalances to cause one to have a back that cannot be trusted to perform as it did in the past. Even if you are feeling better, pain is not always a good guide to determine if your spine is working optimally.
In looking at many of the categories of injury bulleted below, one significant factor that is driving a spine to breakdown prematurely are muscle imbalances that allow excessive stress to concentrate on joints, muscles, or disk tissues. One of the critical issues to note with the spine is that it is a very interdependent system. When one area of control or motion is lost, the stage is set for stress to concentrate on vulnerable segments. These segments are often the lowest two in the back, L4, and L5 which can lead eventually to pain, joint changes, disk herniation, arthritis, and stenosis -in other words spinal breakdown.
Sciatica is pain which radiates down the back of the leg below the knee and at times all the way to the foot, it can have tingling and numbness associated. This type of leg pain reflects the presence of pressure on one of the smaller nerves as they exit the spine that unite to form the sciatic nerve. as it exits the lower spine A herniated disk, a spur in the spine, or advanced arthritis in the spine can put pressure on the nerve and create leg pain. The Sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body and pain from it can get extreme when pressure is severe and it is very inflamed.
Physical therapy is the profession that looks at the spine as an interdependent system and takes all factors related to muscle imbalance, instability, weakness, and tightness into account to reduce the excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve or related areas and restore optimal function. This process will require active participation by the patient both physically and mentally to exercise, learn, and move in ways that unload the stressed area of the back. This ultimately results in the patient developing their own internal control of the problem and rebuilds the ability to trust their spine to perform as needed. It is an investing process but one well worth the effort when your goals have been met. Full Potential Physical Therapy’s main specialty is spinal rehabilitation.
Find relief today
At Full Potential Physical Therapy, our main goals are to help you relieve your pain, improve your strength, and reach your optimum levels of function. If your lower back pain or sciatica symptoms have been limiting your daily life, contact us today at Holland, MI! We will help you reach your physical goals so you can get back to living your daily life, free from back pain or sciatica discomfort.