Back pain and sciatica are common conditions that affect millions of people around the world. They can cause severe discomfort and limit your ability to perform daily activities, affecting your quality of life. However, physical therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment option for these conditions. In this blog, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of back pain and sciatica and how physical therapy can help relieve these conditions.
What is Back Pain?
Back pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can be acute, which means it comes on suddenly and lasts for a short time, or chronic, which means it persists for more than three months. The pain can be mild, moderate, or severe and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as stiffness, muscle spasms, and limited mobility.
Back pain can be caused by several factors, including poor posture, muscle strain or sprain, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis. According to a study by the World Health Organization, lower back pain is the leading cause of disability globally, affecting up to 80% of adults at some point in their lives.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a specific type of back pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down to the legs. It can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs and feet. Sciatica is usually caused by a herniated disc in the lower back, which puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
According to a study by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, sciatica affects up to 40% of people during their lifetime.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
Physical therapy is a non-invasive and effective treatment option for back pain and sciatica. It involves a combination of exercises, manual therapy, and education that can help improve your flexibility, strength, and mobility. Physical therapy can also help relieve pain and prevent the condition from recurring.
Here are some ways that physical therapy can help with back pain and sciatica:
1. Improving flexibility and range of motion
Physical therapy can help improve your flexibility and range of motion, which can reduce stiffness and pain in your back. Flexibility exercises can help stretch tight muscles and improve your mobility. A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found that stretching exercises are effective in reducing lower back pain and improving spinal mobility.
2. Strengthening muscles
Weak muscles can cause imbalances in your body, leading to poor posture and back pain. Physical therapy can help strengthen your core muscles, including your abs and back muscles, which can improve your posture and reduce pain. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that core strengthening exercises can significantly reduce pain and disability in patients with chronic lower back pain.
3. Manual therapy
Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques such as massage, joint mobilization, and spinal manipulation. These techniques can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that spinal manipulation is an effective treatment option for acute lower back pain.
Physical therapy can also teach you how to improve your posture and body mechanics, which can prevent back pain from recurring. Educating patients about their condition and how to manage their symptoms can also reduce the need for medication or surgery. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients who received education and exercise therapy had a significant improvement in their back pain compared to those who received medication and bed rest.
If you're interested in starting physical therapy in Texas, here are the steps you can follow:
1. Get a referral from your doctor:
In Texas, you can see a physical therapist without a referral from your doctor for up to 10 days or 5 visits, whichever comes first. However, if you need more than 10 days or 5 visits, you will need a referral from your doctor. It's always a good idea to consult with your doctor first to determine if physical therapy is the right treatment option for you.
2. Find a licensed physical therapist:
In Texas, physical therapists must be licensed by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (TBPTE). You can use the TBPTE website to search for licensed physical therapists in your area.
3. Schedule an appointment:
Once you have found a licensed physical therapist, you can schedule an appointment. You will likely be asked to fill out some paperwork, including a medical history form.
4. Attend your first appointment:
At your first appointment, your physical therapist will conduct an evaluation to assess your condition and develop a treatment plan. The evaluation may include a physical exam, functional testing, and a discussion of your goals for therapy.
5. Attend follow-up appointments:
Depending on your treatment plan, you may need to attend follow-up appointments with your physical therapist. These appointments may involve exercises, manual therapy, education, and other treatment modalities.
6. Communicate with your physical therapist:
It's important to communicate with your physical therapist about your progress, any changes in your condition, and any concerns you may have. Your physical therapist may adjust your treatment plan based on your feedback and progress.
7. Complete your course of therapy:
Once you have completed your course of therapy, your physical therapist may recommend exercises or other activities to help you maintain your progress and prevent further injury.
It's important to note that physical therapy in Texas may be covered by health insurance, including Medicare and Private Insurance. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage and any out-of-pocket costs.
Back pain and sciatica can cause severe discomfort and limit your ability to perform daily activities. Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for these conditions, as it involves
Try these home remedies from Dr. Danny…
Call 512-215-4227 now to get started with our physical therapy team so you can relieve your back pain and sciatica with physical therapy at CORE Therapy & Pilates.
- A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Managing this Physical Condition - May 22, 2023
- Why Does Chronic Pain Keep Coming Back? Understanding the Causes and Treatment Options - May 14, 2023
- Maximize Recovery Potential with Physical Therapy by Dr. Claire Watkins at CORE Therapy & Pilates - April 19, 2023