If I was pushed, I would say the most common thing I treat in my Lee’s Summit Physical Therapy clinic is back pain and sciatica.
If you aren’t familiar with sciatica, it is a pain that radiates down the back of the leg (along the sciatic nerve), sometimes all the way into the foot. It can feel dull or sharp, often ‘electric.’ and have associated numbness and tingling. It can run from mild to very severe, sometimes debilitating.
Sciatica often follows after typical back pain is left unmanaged, as people wait for it to go away on its own. It is caused by the sciatic nerve becoming irritated somewhere along its length, which runs from the low back all the way into the foot
When flared up, many activities can increase the pain, including both sitting and standing. The true underlying cause almost every time, though, is sitting too much.
People usually try medication to reduce the pain, but the thing is, over the counter medications are not intended to treat nerve problems. They may dull the pain a little, but rarely help any more than that. Often, the pain comes back even worse because in the time the person in pain was hoping the medication would work, they never addressed the underlying cause of the pain.
People also try to ‘rest it away,’ but that is the worst thing to do for a ticked off nerve. Nerves only need 3 things to be happy… movement, space, and blood flow. Resting only reduces movement and blood flow, which makes nerves very irritated and increases pain.
The great thing is that physical therapy is usually the fix! See, that what I specialize in as a Doctor of Physical Therapy… MOVEMENT! Specific exercises will be required depending on the location along the nerve that is the problem. There are some other tricks we can use to calm that nerve down and get you back to doing what you love to do. Bonus: physical therapy will likely get it feeling better quicker than drugs or rest (if they work at all).
If you need help right away, don’t hesitate to call us at Ascent Physical Therapy at 816-682-1432 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask how to set up you evaluation so you can start feeling better.
To your health,
PS. You could read a little more from us in sciatica here.