Body Gears: Stand up to Your Sciatica & Back Pain

STEPHANIE MOUNTFORD, PT, DPT, OCS, CLINIC MANAGER NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body Getting To Know The Body Gears Physical Therapy Team

Stephanie realized she wanted to be a physical therapist after spending countless hours as a patient herself

completing her undergraduate work at Augustana College. She completed an Orthopedic Residency and became Orthopedic Board Certified in 2013. She is excited to be joining BodyGears and to further develop her Functional Manual Therapy skills to better treat her patients. Throughout her practice, she has specialized in women’s health, pediatrics, and runners. In her free time, Stephanie loves to travel the world and to spend time with her family as her son teaches her the wonders of seeing the world for the first time. Find Stephanie at our Wheaton, IL clinic.

while playing volleyball and show jumping horses throughout her youth. She wanted to be able to return others to the activities that they loved and were important to themas her physical therapists were able to do for her. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University in 2008 after

NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body STANDUP TOSCIATICA Feel Younger. Move Better. Get Stronger.


• Seek A Natural Treatment For Back Pain • Healthy Recipe • Exercise of the Month • Patient Success Spotlight

Do you experience pain that radiates down from your low back to your buttock, knee, or even your foot? If so, you may be experiencing sciatica. Sciatica means irritation of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, that runs from the lower back down the back of the leg to the knee where it splits into two nerves that run down to the foot. Irritation of the sciatic nerve results in pain radiating down the back of one leg, often accompanied by numbness, tingling, and back pain. People frequently have questions about what sciatica is, why it occurs, and how to find relief from the intense pain it can cause. The most important thing to know is that sciatica is a symptom rather than a condition and the cause of the nerve irritation is usually in the lumbar spine or the buttock. If you are suffering from sciatica, it is important to find its root cause. Many people often think an x-ray or expensive MRI is first needed to figure out what is causing their pain. Having a lot of scans doesn’t mean you will find its root cause because some causes don’t show up easily on these scans and any findings can only be assumed as the cause. On the other hand, physical therapists use a series of clinical tests to determine the source of the pain with the patient’s real-time feedback. A common saying in physical therapy

is, ‘if your pain is reproducible, it’s reducible’ which means the clinical test which provokes your symptoms will confirm the source; something a scan can’t do. These clinical tests differentiate whether the nerve is compressed by the lumbar spine or the piriformis muscle in the buttock. In about 25% of the general population, the sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle which makes it susceptible to abnormal pressure and irritation. Why Does Sciatica Occur? If there are changes in posture, muscular activation, or strength, the sciatic nerve can get compressed by either the lumbar spine or piriformis muscle leading to the quite common lower back and radiating nerve pains. There is also the possibility of the nerve being irritated anywhere along its path from the lower back down to the foot if it adheres to the soft tissue around it, such as the hamstring muscles. If you’ve ever thought you had tight hamstrings, it could actually be sciatic nerve tension. If you or someone you care about is suffering from sciatica, give us a call today to find how treatment will target the exact source of the problem.


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. Sitting is not bad for you, it’s staying in any one static position, whether it’s sitting, standing, or lying down for long periods that aggravates the nerves, joints, and muscles. It is possible to prevent or relieve sciatica simply by improving your static postures and moving more. Physical Therapy Relieves Sciatica TheDoctorsof PhysicalTherapy atBody Gearsplay acrucial role in evaluating and treating sciatica, as well as other common back problems. Our therapists have years of training to evaluate your back problem and find the root cause of your sciatica. An individualized treatment plan is created to guide you through the recovery process and maximize your success. At Body Gears, our friendly and knowledgeable physical therapists spend time with you to understand your story. We train you on specific exercises that will relieve pain, activate sluggish muscles, and strengthen movements meaningful to you. In addition, our specialized hands-on therapy helps to gently loosen tight muscles and joints in your spine and legs. We want to quickly relieve your pain and restore your flexibility so you can feel like yourself again. Our cutting-edge treatments will be specifically designed for you to reach your healthcare goals. Identifying thepositions, movements, and activities that relieveand aggravate your pain will provide your physical therapist with useful information and give you a head start in warding off painful sciatica.

Journal of neurosurgery: Spine Feb, 2005 Volume 2, Number 2. Aaron G. Filler, M.D., Ph.D., Jodean Haynes, B.A., Sheldon E. Jordan, M.D., Joshua Prager, M.D., J. Pablo Villablanca, M.D., Keyvan Farahani, Ph.D., Duncan Q. Mcbride, M.D., Jay S.Tsuruda, M.D., Brannon Morisoli, B.A., Ulrich Batzdorf, M.D., and J. Patrick Johnson, M.D.

Exercise of theMonth Try this movement if you are experiencing sciatica pain.

Roquefort Pear Salad

INGREDIENTS • 1 head leaf lettuce • 3 pears, diced • 5 ounces Roquefort cheese • 1 avocado, sliced • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions • 1/4 cup white sugar • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard • 1 clove garlic, chopped • 1/2 teaspoon salt • Fresh ground black pepper to taste • 1/2 cup pecans • 1/3 cup olive oil

Bottoms Up

Sciatic Nerve Glide 30 sec x 3. Start seated, leaning forward with your forearms on your legs to keep your lower back neutral. Drop your head down and slowly lift your bottom towards the ceiling. Keep lifting until the knees are straight and then let the arms hang down. Place the forearms back on the legs to sit back down keeping the head in its place in space. Repeat slowly to “floss” the sciatic nerve to alleviate sciatica symptoms.

INSTRUCTIONS Inaskilletovermediumheat,stir1/4cupofsugar togetherwith thepecans.Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces. For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans, and serve.

CALL TODAY! (877) 709-1090

Patient Success Spotlight

Body Gears News

SCOLIOSIS THERAPY at BODY GEARS: Scoliosis is a common spinal condition that involves asymmetrical muscle groups of the back and abnormal lateral curvature of the spine that affects over 3 million people in the U.S. per year. Some common stereotypes include, “the only way to fix this is surgery with rods in my back” or “I have to wear a brace for the rest of my life”. At Body Gears, we are redefining Scoliosis treatment by combining our Functional Manual Therapy® with the

Schroth Method. Functional Manual Therapy® (aka FMT) is an integrated system that conjoins evaluation and treatment, combining mobility treatment with neuromuscular facilitation to correctly use the right muscles at the right time for as long as needed. The Schroth Method for scoliosis uses conservative exercise in a 3-dimensional approach to elongate the trunk and correct imbalances of the spine. The goal is

“I absolutely love this place! Joanne and her staff have given me my life back. After back surgery and diastases, I had lower back pain for months. Joanne and her team don’t just treat the symptoms, they find out why your body is functioning that way and fix your whole system. Now not only do I have a stronger core and no back pain, but I have also learned the skills and tools to help keep myself in shape and pain-free for the rest of my life. I have been to other PT places with very little results. I had excellent positive results right away with Joanne and her team. Highly recommend everyone go here!!! During my visits, once the issue had been determined, Joanne worked on other small symptoms that my body had started doing to try and correct itself. Correcting all the little issues has made such a huge difference. My time with them has been life-changing and I feel like a whole new person without pain..” - Mandi S. (Body Gears Graduate!) I feel like a whole new person without pain!

to develop the inner muscles of the rib cage in order to change the shape of the upper trunk and to maximally correct spinal abnormalities. At Body Gears, scoliosis therapists, Joanne Macza PT, MDT, OCS, CERT, CKPT, FDN and Dr. Kane Thompson PT, DPT, ATC, FDN are able to seamlessly combine FMT and Schroth in this unique and comprehensive approach creating space and ease, reducing pain and the chronic functional deficits that negatively impact the lives of scoliosis patients.

GIG (Get In Gear): What does it mean to prepare to exercise? Most people might answer warming up. Warming up literally increases the temperature of the body to increase blood flow to the muscles required for the activity you’re about to perform. What do you do if a muscle won’t even turn on or a joint is stiff? Check out ourpodcast to learnaboutGetting inGear toexerciseand how an individualized routine will help you to maximize

your warm-up and activity. Find us on Sound Cloud @BodyGearsPT

Request AComplimentary Screening

Schedule Your Discovery Session | 877-709-1090 VISITOURWEBSITEORGIVEUS ACALL:

Whether you’re recovering from an injury, training for a competition, or you’re striving for health, wellness and freedom of movement, Body Gears can help improve your physical health.

This 30-minute appointment will allow you to meet a physical therapist, share your story, and complete a mini-assessment. The purpose of this screening is to answer two questions: 1. Which techniques will help you change your story? 2. How can Body Gears help you achieve your functional goals? Our physical therapists will be able to quickly provide you the information you need to take the next step. We hope it's with us!


The Discovery Session consists of a 30-minute one- on-one appointment with a Physical Therapist to: ü Talk with you about the history of your problem. ü Take measurements to test things like strength and how well you are moving.

Afterwards, you will receive a written copy of:

ü The cause of your pain or problem ü A plan for successful treatment

The Discovery Session is ideal for people suffering with:

THIS EVENT IS OPENTOALL! Tuesday, May 15th 9:00am - 6:00pm Lincoln Park May marks National Women’s Health Week and we are celebrating! Women’s health issues like leaking and pain during intercourse are kept secret due to stigma or because women don’t realize there’s a solution. Come get answers to questions about the “down there” area. These issues are common but not normal. To celebrate, we set up one day of FREE Discovery Sessions with our Doctors of Physical Therapy. Explore answers to your questions, find out if you are “normal,” or if you’ve been living with something that you don’t have to put up with anymore.

• Lower Back Pain • Pregnancy pains • Sciatica • Painful sex (during or afterwards) • Painful periods • Diastasis recti (separated abs)

• Leaking urine • Tailbone area pain • Neck Pain • Headaches • Shoulder Pain • Knee Pain

Don’t delay, register today by calling 877-709-1090 now!

BONUS! All people attending our National Women’s Health Week Event will receive our report: “Answers to the 4 Questions Men & Women are Afraid to Ask Out Loud About Their Pelvic Health.”

We Want To Help You Get Better Once And For All!


Leaking? Pain with intercourse? Your pelvic floor likely needs help! The pelvic floor muscles have enormous responsibilities all day long and for numerous body systems—problems here can vary from weakness to tightness and often need special attention postpartum and with increasing age. Research shows that 1 out of 5 people (men and women!) will have some form of issue “down there” within their lifetime. Issues this prevalent should not be swept under the rug! People are often left without a concrete diagnosis and only vague options for treatment or worse, they’re told “it’s normal” and to “just live with it.” While pelvic floor dysfunction is common, it’s not normal and we have a clear solution: pelvic floor physical therapy! To figure out whether you have a pelvic floor dysfunction, it’s helpful to first know the functions of the pelvic floor: 1. Support: to stop your abdominal organs from “falling out”, to keep your vaginal and rectal walls stable, and to contribute to your core stability 2. Leak Protection: the pelvic floor works in conjunction with the sphincters that close the openings of the urethra, vagina, and rectum 3. Sex: These muscles regulate the ability to orgasm and blood flow to the pelvis 4. Stability: as part of the core muscles, the pelvic floor assists with stabilizing the lumbar spine, hips, and pelvic complex including the sacroiliac, pubic symphysis, and sacrococcygeal joints 5. Antigravity Pump: the pelvic floor muscles help pump venous blood and lymph out of the lower limbs If any of those functions are missing or poorly performed, then the result might not only include pain and leaking, but also embarrassment and shame. This is not something anyone should have to live with and there’s plenty of research to show that you don’t have to!

A typical pelvic health examination with a specialized physical therapist will include a comprehensive examination of the muscles (core and pelvic floor muscles) and joints mentioned above. Depending on your issues, this can include external or internal palpation of the muscles and tailbone. You will also receive education on the mechanism causing your symptoms, as well as what successful treatment looks like. People always have questions, so call in to speak with a pelvic health therapist personally, or to schedule an appointment at any of our six Body Gears locations. (877) 709-1090

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