Choice PT: Is It Back Pain or Is It Sciatica?

UNDERSTANDING YOUR BACK PAIN

Being educated about your back pain can help you make the right choices to overcome it as quickly as possible. One of the biggest problems with back pain is that it lingers. This leads many people to deal with back pain for years on end without seemingly any end in sight. While there is back pain that develops as a result of strain or sprain, there is also something called low back degenerative disc disease, which happens when the discs in your spine weaken. This frequently develops as a result of repetitive back injury and can also develop as a result of age. With degenerative disc disease, the space between the discs begins to collapse and become unstable and will cause back pain to develop. When you work with a physical therapist to overcome back pain as a result of degenerative disc disease, your physical therapist will begin by strengthening core muscle groups, which includes the abdominal wall, and will provide you with targeted massage and stretching techniques to alleviate pain. While some back pain is easy to identify as pain, such as is the case with degenerative disc disease, there are other situations in which the pain may be a bit more complicated to understand. One of the most common back issues experienced in the United States is sciatica pain, and this sort of pain is often a lot more difficult to identify — especially by those who aren’t familiar with the problem. How can you tell the difference between back pain and sciatica pain?The answer is that sciatica pain is characterized by the following factors: • Constant pain is only present in one side of the buttocks or leg • The pain becomes worse when you are sitting

• The leg pain develops more as a burning, tingling or searing sensation, and not as a plain ache • There is a sharp pain that occurs at times, making it sometimes difficult to stand or walk • The pain is radiating, shooting down the leg and sometimes even into the feet and toes

Sciatica pain develops in the nerves that connect the lower back to the legs, and so while the pain itself is generated from the back, a lot of time, the experience of the pain is more largely associated with the upper legs. What’s more, sciatica pain doesn’t always develop like pain in the traditional sense. Sciatica pain instead causes a buildup of tingling, numbness and weakness in the lower back and upper legs, and the pain isn’t consistent either. The sensation will typically run through the leg in waves, causing discomfort at seemingly unpredictable times. If you are experiencing back pain and you haven’t talked to a medical professional about the concern, then now is the time to take action. Working with a physical therapist can cut your time struggling with back pain literally in half. For more information about overcoming back pain, contact us.

518.203.6761

Exercise Essentials Try this exercise to relieve sciatica pain.

Easy Crock Pot Cobbler

INGREDIENTS • 2-Cans of your favorite pie filling (apple, peach, cherry) • 1-Box yellow cake mix (spice cake mix works well with apple or peach)

Relieves Sciatica Pain

www.simpleset.net

FOUR POINT TRUNK FLEXION & EXTENSION Start on hands and knees. Arch your back up to the ceiling as high as you comfortably can, and hold. Then, arch your back the opposite direction as low as you comfortably can, and hold. Repeat 6 times.

• 1 stick of butter

INSTRUCTIONS Pour pie filling in the bottom of your crock pot. Cover with cake mix, do not stir. Cut butter into pieces and place on top of cake mix. Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Serve with ice cream and enjoy!

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www.choiceptny.com

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