Don't Let Sciatica Distract From Life Accomplishments


DON’T LET SCIATICA Distract You From Accomplishing Your Life

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Kristen Sowers Kristen Sowers has been practicing outpatient orthopedic physical therapy since earning her Masters of Physical Therapy from New York Medical College in 2000. She joined the Virginia Center for Spine and Sports Therapy in 2009. Kristen has clinical expertise in all areas including treatment of the neck, back, shoulder, pelvis, extremities and post-surgical rehabilitation. She has particular interests in sports related injuries and pediatric sports therapy with a focus on gymnastics, tumbling and cheer rehabilitation.

Newsletter “I Am Not Going To Allow Sciatic Pain To Control My Life!” DISCUSSING SCIATICA&BACK PAIN


Do you experience pain in the buttock, leg, or even your foot? If so, you may be experiencing sciatica. Sciatica is a common form of back and leg pain that is often misunderstood by sufferers. People frequently have questions about what sciatica is, why it occurs and how to find relief from the intense pain it can cause from the low back down to the feet. If you are suffering from sciatica, it is important to find its root cause. Manypeopleoften thinkanx-rayorexpensiveMRI isfirst needed to figure out what is causing pain. Having a lot of


tests doesn’t mean you will find its root cause. Recent studies show that nearly 1 million of MRIs done for sciatica fail to find a treatable cause. With a new imaging technique called magnetic resonance neurography, 69% of the patients were found to have a trapped sciatic nerve deep in the buttock by a muscle called the piriformis. It is known that in about 25% of the general population, the sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle and can be susceptible to abnormal pressure and irritation. WHY DOES SCIATICA OCCUR? If there are changes in posture, muscle strength or pelvic alignment, the nerve can be compressed which leads to the quite common low back and sciatic nerve pains. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in your body. It even reaches down to the foot and therefore, can be irritated anywhere along its path. With sciatica, the consequent ache can be felt anywhere from the base of the spine, the buttocks or the back of the thigh and legs. Even tingling sensations in the toes can be attributed at times to the impingement of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica is often characterized by one or more of the following symptoms: • Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs) • Pain that is worse when sitting • Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or searing (versus a dull ache) • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes • A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk • Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes (it rarely occurs only in the foot)

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Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating. Symptoms are usually based on the location of the pinched nerve. While symptoms can be painful and potentially debilitating, it is rare that permanent sciatic nerve damage (tissue damage) will result, and spinal cord involvement is possible but rare.


Bad Habits Can Increase Your Pain Some seemingly harmless habits can also contribute to the irritation of the sciatic nerve. A frequent bad habit is crossing of the legs for extended periods, which puts pressure on the nerve. In addition, sitting for long periods is bad for your spine. It is possible for you to prevent or relieve sciatica simply by improving your posture. Physical Therapy Relieves Sciatica The specialists at VCSST play a crucial role in evaluating and treating sciatica,aswellasothercommonbackproblems.Ourphysical therapists are medical experts with years of training to evaluate your back problem, finding the root cause of your sciatica. An individualized treatment plan is created to guide you through the recovery process and maximize your success. When coming to VCSST, our friendly and knowledgeable therapists spend time with you. We train you on specific and easy exercises that will relieve the pain in your back and legs. In addition, our specialized hands-on therapy helps to gently loosen tight muscles and joints in your spine and legs. Your pain is quickly relieved and your flexibility restored, so you can feel likeyourselfagain.Ourcutting-edgetreatmentsaredoctorrecommended and are specifically designed for you to reach your healthcare goals. Knowing all this should give you a headstart in warding off painful sciatica. After all, it may be as simple as learning to stand tall. Services our expert team is ready to provide: • Orthopedic and Sports Rehabilitation • Spinal Mobilization/Manipulation Journalofneurosurgery:SpineFeb,2005Volume2,Number2.AaronG.Filler,M.D.,Ph.D.,JodeanHaynes,B.A.,Sheldon E.Jordan,M.D.,JoshuaPrager,M.D.,J.PabloVillablanca,M.D.,KeyvanFarahani,Ph.D.,DuncanQ.Mcbride,M.D.,Jay S.Tsuruda,M.D.,BrannonMorisoli,B.A.,UlrichBatzdorf,M.D.,andJ.PatrickJohnson,M.D.

• Concussion Management • Balance/Fall Prevention • Vestibular Rehabilitation/Canal Repositioning • Headache Management • TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders) • Post surgical rehabilitation • Core Stabilization • Functional Manual Therapy/Mobilizations • Custom Orthotic Assessment and Fabrication • Functional Movement Screens and injury • Myofascial Release Techniques • McKenzie Approach • Physical Therapy Dry Needling • Managing chronic and persistent pain

(804) 249-8277 FAX: (804) 249-9690


A 30 Second Self-Test For Sciatica • Do you have back pain or leg pain with 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.

“I am now pain free!” ★★★★★ “My experience at VCSST was outstanding. I was referred there by my Primary Care Doctor for my Sciatica pain. Eric was my PT and I found him warm and encouraging. He asked about my symptoms and he started me on an exercise program immediately, always asking me about pain level after each exercise. He also gave me exercises to do at home between therapy visits. I am now pain free and would highly recommend VCSST!” M.S. “Never have I met such professionals.” “Best PT experience I’ve ever had! Not only are the PTs very good at their jobs, but they are also wonderful people who can make ANYTHING fun. I got better very quickly and had the time of my life while doing it. Never have I met such professional individuals who genuinely love their jobs and their patients!” L.S. Patient Spotlights

What it means: If your 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...we can help you with that. CALL TODAY!

(804) 249-8277

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