Recently, here at Volk Physical Therapy, we have seen an increased number of people suffering from back pain, but not just any back pain – the most severe of all in my humble opinion, “sciatica”. There’s only one word to describe the pain that people feel when truly suffering from sciatica, and that is “horrendous”!
In case you’re not familiar with what it is – you’d recognize it by having a severe pain running right down the back of your leg and possible as far down as your toes. Often times it is made much worse when you sit, though standing may be just as painful. And there’s the real, true, underlying cause of most peoples’ trouble: sitting. How much sitting have you been doing lately?
Because it’s the time of the year when you’re wanting more than ever to get outside, do some yardwork, and start doing more and more, due to the beautiful weather recently, you start to do too much! Then when you go to rest and sit down, things can just get unbearable. The sitting afterwards causes amazingly sharp pain down the back of your leg. The siting adds pressure to your back and your sciatic nerve, and possibly, a disc at the bottom of your back will give up and the fluid inside it touches the nerve which runs down your leg – AKA sciatica.
It can cause pins and needles in your foot, numbness, and a cold sensation as well as the pain – and unfortunately, it’s often so painful that nothing in the way of medication – can ease it.
Despite what you may be tempted to do, and that is “rest it away” there are things that can be done other than rest and painkillers, and just wishing for it to go.
Physical Therapy CAN help!!!! Sometimes, unfortunately, it makes it worse before it gets better – but it does get better. Specific exercises are needed too, and when followed as given, sciatica issues can minimize and you can be back doing what you love, whatever that may be in a very short time. Limiting the amount you sit can help too. And there’s something to note – I see a lot of people sitting in my clinic with back pain and they tell me that “sitting doesn’t make it worse” – but what they’re doing is sitting in a modified or slouched way that means they’re just avoiding the pain – making the whole thing last longer and often leaving the person with an awkward looking posture long after the back trouble has gone.
So, to sum up todays “health lesson”…Sciatica is a painful and life limiting condition. But, unless you’re in the small 5% of people who nothing can be done other than surgery, there ARE things you can do. And I think what is best understand about sciatica – and something that should be communicated a lot more by health professionals trying to help people suffering – is that often when you’re trying to make sciatica better in the long run, an increase in pain in the short run is normal. Not nice. But par for the course! And in the end, will mean a much speedier return to better health than sitting and praying for time, popping more and more painkillers!
Want more back pain tips? Follow this link: www.zzvolkpt.wpengine.com/back-pain.
Or, if you need help right away, please feel free to call Volk Physical Therapy, at 704-455-1172 and ask how to set up an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Concord or Harrisburg, NC, or ask about our Charleston concierge service: 843-597-8135.