James River PT: Sciatica and Back Pain



and balance works with all of these systems to keep them functioning in harmony. Gait and balance training has a range of benefits, with avoiding injuries being at the top of the list. Beyond lessening your chances of falling or feeling dizzy, you’re also more likely to feel confident with your footing. In addition, those aches and pains from poor posture are likely to decrease as well. What does balance and gait training entail? First, we’ll evaluate your gait to determine potential problems with strength and posture. Simple movements to test balance are also part of the assessment. Together, these basic evaluations point us in the direction of what to focus on in terms of therapy. Hip and ankle weakness often leads to balance problems, as does poor posture. Strength and flexibility movements can help counteract these problems. These are often as simple as leg lifts while seated in a chair, or “knee marching.” We may also practice standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, or tracking the movement of your thumb with your eyes as you move it in various positions. Ready to “balance” your life again? With our dedicated team of physical therapists behind you, you’ll regain confidence in navigating challenging terrain and learning how to avoid dizzy spells. You may even be able to leave that cane or walker behind!

Bad falls are a constant worry for seniors and others who have physical challenges. And those worries aren’t unfounded. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and serious health problems in the U.S.

Improving your walking skills — technically known as your “gait” — and your balance are interrelated challenges. Physical therapy helps you master these skills to decrease your risk of injury, while at the same time increasing your confidence and independence. What are the benefits of balance and gait training? Balance and gait are inextricably linked because they tend to impact one another. Even if you don’t think you’re in danger of falling over, that “running out of steam” while walking that you’re attributing to aging muscles could be something else. The problem might actually be slowing reflexes, which make moving around seem more strenuous than it is. By the same token, poor posture and gait can throw off those reflexes. In fact, the balance and gait systems both rely to some extent on a complex number of body systems that include the inner ear, the eyes, the joint-muscle-nerve system, and of course cognitive functions. Therapy that improves gait INSIDE : • Stand Up To Your Sciatica Pain • A 30 Second Self-Test For Sciatica

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight



STAND UP TO YOUR SCIATICA PAIN FEEL YOUNGER . MOVE BE T TER . GE T STRONGER . If you’ve experienced back pain, and even leg pain, you might have a deeper issue. Your minor aches and pinched nerves could be symptomatic of deeper issues. You might be facing sciatica. While “sciatica” may sound serious, it’s entirely curable. Inside, we’ll cover sciatica back pain. What Is Sciatica? Sciatica is pain that radiates alongside the sciatic nerve. This nerve, which branches from your lower back — spanning across your hips, buttocks and legs — can be injured or stressed in several ways. Mayo Clinic has pinpointed the most common cause of sciatica-related pain: inflammation along the spine, where compressed nerves are aggravated. While sciatica pain can be intense, it can be treated. Many sciatica cases in fact, can be resolved without an operation-and in a few weeks. Even if your sciatica includes numbness or minor leg weakness there is still hope for recovery. Progressive leg weakness or bowel and bladder changes indicate a more severe issue that requires a consultation with your physician. What Causes Sciatica? In most cases, sciatica occurs when one of the back’s disks is herniated. It can also happen if the spine narrows — an effect called spinal stenosis. As we age, our backs undergo a lot of stress. This stress takes a toll, causing inflammation in several areas. If this inflammation reaches a certain point, INSIDE : • A 30 Second Self-Test For Sciatica • Exercise Counseling

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight

you’re suffering from sciatica, you might feel the discomfort anywhere along this nerve pathway. The pain can even extend to the calf. The pain itself can be dull, aching or even sharp. In some cases, the compressed nerve may feel like it burns, causing considerable pain. In other cases, the compressed nerve may simply issue a sharp jolt of pain. Some people experiencing sciatica may even have leg numbness, tingling or weakness. If sciatica isn’t treated, it can hinder mobility altogether. How Physical Therapy Can Help with Sciatica If you’re experiencing sciatica, contact our office. Medical News Today asserts that over-the-counter painkillers may alleviate pain, but in-depth physical therapy is often needed. Physical therapy can reduce sciatica by carefully introducing exercises and manual therapy. Physical therapists can also refer you to a physician if your problem is more serious. These treatments, hand picked by medical professionals, can completely eliminate sciatica over time. If you’re experiencing back pain, don’t wait. Call one of our professionals today, and ask about physical therapy options. Your mobility is important, and your back can absolutely be healed.

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/what-is-sciatica#1 -https://www.medicinenet.com/sciatica/ article.htm - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc- 20377435 - https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7619.php

it may compress these nerves — resulting in pain. What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

Sciatica back pain is normally noticed as a pain radiating from the lower back. Often, this pain extends to the buttock, spiraling down the leg. If


PRONE ON ELBOWS | LUMBAR EXTENSION To start, lie on your stomach with your hands beside your shoulders. Push with your arms up on to your elbows and forearms. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Loosens Lower Back www.simpleset.net EXERCISE OF THE MONTH Try this movement if you are experiencing back pain.

A 30 Second Self-Test For Sciatica • Do you have back pain or leg pain while standing or walking? • Do you have a shooting pain in your leg when you stand up? • Do you need to sit down for a minute for the pain to go away?

30 SECOND SELF-TEST FOR SCIATICA 1. Sitting on a chair, look down. 2. Straighten one leg, with toes in the air. 3. Repeat for the other side.

What it means: If the leg with pain, numbness or tingling does not go up as high as the other leg, you likely have Sciatica. Your next step is to see what is causing the pressure on your sciatic nerve. Call us to schedule an appointment...James River Physical Therapy can help you relieve your Sciatica pain.


Honey Garlic Shrimp

INGREDIENTS • 1/3 cup honey • 1/4 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium) • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic • 1 lb medium uncooked shrimp, peeled & deveined • 2 teaspoons olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Whisk the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger (if using) together in a medium bowl. 2. Place shrimp in a large zipped-top bag or Tupperware. Pour 1/2 of the marinade mixture on top, give it all a shake or stir, then allow shrimp to marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or up to 8-12 hours. Cover and refrigerate the rest of the marinade for step 3. (Time- saving tip: while the shrimp is marinating, steam broccoli and microwave some quick brown rice). 3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place shrimp in the skillet. Discard used marinade. Cook shrimp on one side until pink—about 45 seconds—then flip shrimp over. Pour in remaining marinade and cook it all until shrimp is cooked through.


Patient Success Spotlight

Exercise Counseling

“There is no drug more effective than exercise,” according to Steven Nissen, M.D. chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and father of medicine said “walking is man’s best medicine.” At James River Physical Therapy we will inspire you to exercise and guide you toward the best type of exercise for you. Dan is a certified Level I USA Track and Field coach, Richmond Marathon Training Team (MTT) coach, and lifelong exercise enthusiast. He enjoys working with all clients who are eager to begin exercise, progress to the next level, or strive for personal best records. Contact us at Chesterfield, Midlothian & Richmond, VA Centers to learn more about how we help you reach your individual exercise goals!

“After a brief assessment, he was able to treat the trigger points in my hip and my pain was lessened almost immediately.” “Eight years ago, I developed painful bursitis in my hip. My PCP highly recommended that I see Dan List at James River Physical Therapy, and it’s easy to see why. Dan is very personable and knowledgeable about physiology and physical ailments. After a brief assessment, he was able to treat the trigger points in my hip and my pain was lessened almost immediately. He recommended exercises for me to do at home, which involves the patient in the healing process. Dan is a great listener and advisor, and someone that I consider to be a friend, because he is genuinely concerned about his patients.” - Nancy W.

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