HEALTH & WELLNESS
The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
IS IT BACK PAIN OR 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 point in their lives. 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.
IS IT BACK PAIN OR SCIATICA? (CONTI
Too many people consider back pain a normal experience of their lives and don’t immediately seek support that could make the pain an issue of the past. Working with a physical therapist is, hands down, the best thing that you can dowhen 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 targetedmassage, flexibility and range ofmotion 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. UNDERSTANDING 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, andwill provide youwith targetedmassage 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 amedical professional about the concern, then now is the time to take action. Workingwith a physical therapist can cut your time strugglingwith back pain literally in half. For more information about overcoming back pain, contact us. Sources https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/what-you-need-know-about-sciatica
Return to a pain-free, active lifestyle, by calling 810-695-0750 to schedule your appointment.
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PATIENT SUCCESS SPOTLIGHT
“I had a very bad experience with both a chiropractor and massage therapist. Between the two of themmymuscles and nerves became very inflamed in my neck, shoulders and head. The doctor sent me to a pain specialist where I received two nerve blocks. Unfortunately this did not work either.
I was in excruciating pain with very limited mobility until my doctor sent me to see Ralph. The first night that he treated me I saw some relief through needling. I have been seeing Ralph for 3 ½ months now and have seen dramatic changes happening with my nerves and muscles. Ralph took the time to listen and explain what was going on with my body. Then through needling, cupping, exercise, and massage I am seeing
results. I am not quite there yet, but I am getting there. Thank you, Ralph, for caring and helping me!” – Sherri P.
Healthy Recipe: Greek Spinach-Stuffed Turkey Burgers
DIRECTIONS Preheat grill to medium-high. Squeeze excess moisture from spinach. Combine the spinach with turkey, feta, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; mix well. Form into four 4-inch patties. Oil the grill rack. Grill the patties until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 165°F. Assemble the burgers on the buns, topping each with 1 tablespoon tzatziki, 3 cucumber slices and 2 onion rings.
• 1 cup chopped spinach • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
• ½ tsp garlic powder • ½ tsp dried oregano • ¼ tsp salt • ¼ tsp ground pepper • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns • 4 tbsp tzatziki • 12 slices cucumber • 8 thick rings red onion (about ¼-inch)
Exercise Essentials Try this simple exercise to improve leg strength
QUADRUPED ALTERNATING ARM & LEG LIFT Start on your hands and knees. Engage your lower abdominals by pulling your belly button to your spine. Slowly raise your opposite arm and leg without shifting your trunk to the side or arching your back. Return the arm and leg to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Hold for 3-5 seconds and repeat 10 times on each side.
The above exercise is designed to be performed under the instruction of a licensed physical therapist.
Exercises copyright of
DO I NEED A PRESCRIPTION TO START PHYSICAL THERAPY? No, you don’t. Although we see many patients sent directly by their physician, in the state of Michigan, a licensed physical therapist may begin the physical therapy process by performing a full physical therapy evaluation. We will verify benefits for you so that you can get started right away.
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