AgeWell PT: Is It Back Pain Or Is It Sciatica?

N E W S L E T T E R

IS IT YOUR BACK PAIN OR IS IT SCIATICA? Does life ever feel like one large pain in the back? Back pain is difficult to deal with on a daily basis, yet for so many people, this is a total reality. By certain estimates, as many as 85 percent of adults in the United States struggle with back pain at some

I N S I D E IS IT YOUR BACK PAIN OR IS IT SCIATICA?

UNDERSTANDING YOUR BACK PAIN

point in their lives. (Read more inside...)

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IS IT YOUR BACK PAIN OR IS IT SCIATICA? The most common type of back pain experienced is in the lower back, and it can happen for any variety of reasons. Being in a car accident can cause you to experience lingering back pain for years after the accident. Accidents at work can lead to similar consequences. But sometimes the cause of your back pain isn’t as straightforward. Back pain can also develop for any number of common reasons — things that you do every day without thinking twice. An old desk chair that doesn’t provide much lumbar support can take its toll over time, as can wearing shoes that don’t have much support, or even gaining weight, particularly around the stomach area. Too many people consider back pain a normal experience of their lives and don’t immediately seek support that could make (Continued from outside)

the pain an issue of the past. Working with a physical therapist is, hands down, the best thing that you can do when you are looking to overcome back pain. A physical therapist can identify the cause of the back pain and present you with helpful strategies that can strengthen your back and reduce the severity of your pain. Physical therapy for back pain often includes a combination of targeted massage, flexibility and range of motion training, muscle building, and targeted stretching techniques. Using these strategies in combination with anti-inflammatory medication, as recommended by your physician, is often considered the most-efficient approach to handling back pain and is recommended by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Read More About How PT Can Help Inside!

Get Moving Today with AgeWell Physical Therapy! • Call 516.488.8808 to talk with your physical therapist!

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 typicallyrun through the leg inwaves, 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. Formore information about overcoming back pain, contact us.

HEALTHY RECIPE: TURKEY APPLE CHEDDAR SANDWICH INGREDIENTS • 2 slices whole- wheat sandwich bread • 1 oz sliced Cheddar cheese

• 4 to 6 thin apple slices

• 1 tbsp light mayonnaise

• 2 oz low-sodium deli turkey

INSTRUCTIONS It only takes 5 minutes to make this healthy sandwich with whole-wheat bread and the classic combination of Cheddar cheese and apples that your kids will love. Spread mayonnaise on both slices of bread. Top with turkey, Cheddar and apple.

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1: Eat More Omega-3s - Getting more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids might just help you keep your blood pressure down. Research suggests that omega-3s can help improve your mood, which we all need a little help with in the short, dark days of winter. Aim to get two servings of fish a week, particularly fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and some types of tuna, which are rich in omega-3s. Not a fish lover? Opt for walnuts and flax, which are good non fish sources of omega-3s. 2: Pile On The Veggies - The majority of people don’t eat the daily recommended 3 or more servings of vegetables, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roasting vegetables caramelizes their natural sugars so they taste fantastic. It’s an easy way to cook veggies for dinner—pop a pan of them in the oven and make the rest of dinner while they roast. 3: Up Your Fiber Intake - Getting enough fiber may help prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancers. And eating more fiber may help you slim down. But the average person eats about 14 grams a day—the recommended daily intake is 21 to 38 grams. One of the easiest ways to up your fiber intake is to eat more whole grains. Quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, bulgur and polenta are all quick-cooking options to add to your weeknight repertoire. 4: Eat Less Meat - A popular reason to cut back on meat is for environmental reasons, but you’ll be helping your heart too. When you replace meat with soy, you’ll naturally eat less saturated fat. While tofu might not have a real “flavor,” that’s what makes it so versatile—it soaks up the flavors of a stir-fry sauce or marinade like a sponge, making it taste terrific! 5: Rein in Your Sugar Addiction - We eat too much sugar. We consume 355 calories—or 22 teaspoons—of added sugars a day. Luckily, you can still make treats that satisfy your sweet tooth and cut back on your sugar intake at the same time by choosing treats that are naturally sweet like fruit. 5 HEALTHY-EATING RESOLUTIONS TO CONTINUE ALL YEAR LONG

RECEIVE THERAPY IN YOUR HOME! AgeWell PT and LiveWell OT offer in-home physical therapy and occupational therapy services. If you have difficulty traveling or leaving your home, these services are for you! These services are also covered by Medicare. I N - OF F I CE SPECIAL TEST ING SERV I CES AgeWell PT offers in-house electrodiagnostic testing and musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound testing for all of our patients. We hope our therapy patients take advantage of these tests to improve their rate of recovery and therapy outcome.

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E X E R C I S E E S S E N T I A L S RELIEVES TIGHT HIPS AND BACK

REFER A FR I END!

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DOUBLE KNEE TO CHEST

Lying on your back. Pull both knees to your chest. Hold for 10 seconds and feel the stretch. Repeat 6 times. Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.

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