Johnston: Sciatica & Back Pain






Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine is turning 15 years old this year. It has been quite a journey and a thrilling ride. Keep your eyes open for how we are hoping to continue to grow in the future! I am also turning a milestone this year – entering into a new round number age. While most of you will think it is 30 or 40- I’mactually turning 50.The glasses I have to wear to be able to read the screen prove it. With all these milestones, I have taken some time to reflect on some of our successes, failures, great joys and sadnesses. There are many thoughts I have about • Avoid Sciatica & Back Pain While Spring Cleaning • Relieve Back Pain In Minutes • Patient Success Spotlight • Healthy Recipe • What Are The Symptoms Of Sciatica?

growing older and one of my favorites is “growing old is not for sissies”. The line was given to me by one of my favorite therapists who retired last year (thanks Pam for the line- not for retiring). It has keptme in pursuit of high physical fitness levels so I can physically function at as high of level as possible. It has made me stronger, more flexible and most importantly taken away some of the aches and pains I was complaining about at 40. It personalized that this physical therapy stuff we have been preaching for so many years- WORKS. While my wife and kids are my greatest pride and joy, what we as a team have built over the years here at Johnston Physical Therapy is certainly one of my favorite accomplishments. It leads me to my simple advice for all of you younger than me

out there (which ismost of you). The last 20+ years as a physical therapist have taught me to pursue your passion. I love what I do. I am indescribably thankful to each of the therapists and team members here over the years for joining me on that path. I am equally grateful to all the clients who’ve walked through our door placing their trust in us with their health and assisting them get back to where they want to be whether it’s getting out of a wheelchair or back to collegiate sports. I am hopeful that I get to keep doing it for many years to come. I hope to keep elevating our practice so we can assist you be it getting stronger, more flexible, pain controlled and increase your level of function for many years. Thanks to all of you for coming through our doors- allowingme to pursue my passion.


• Physical Therapy • Work Injury Rehab • Sports Injury Rehab

• Trigger Point Dry Needling • Education





Whether you have hurt your back or have been suffering for a long time, seeing a physical therapist at Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine can help you return to a more active and pain-free life. Give us a call at 515-270-0303 today!

While sciatica pain can be intense and debilitating, it can be treated. A lot of sciatica cases, in fact, can be resolved without medications, injections or surgery – and in a few weeks. Even if you suffered severe sciatica with leg weakness, bladder changes or nerve issues, there’s still hope. What causes sciatica? While there are many causes of sciatica, we see 3 most common sources: 1) When one of the backs’ discs is herniated or inflamed. 2) it can also happen if the spine narrows – an effect called spinal stenosis. 3) Pelvic problems. As we age, our backs undergo a lot of stress. This stress takes a toll, causing inflammation in several areas. If the inflammation reaches a certain point, it may compress these nerves – resulting in pain. Identifying the true source of your sciatica makes all the difference in treatment approach – and success - in relieving your symptoms.

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. Below, we’ll cover sciatica back pain. What is sciatica? Sciatica is pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve. It really is an irritation anywhere along its course. The nerve which originates in the lower back – spanning across your hips, buttocks and legs – can be injured or stressed in several ways. Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine therapist’s pin point the specific cause of your sciatica related pain: inflammation along the spine or where compressed nerves are aggravated, to customize care specifically for you.

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Sciatica pain is often times noticed as symptoms radiating from the low back. This pain can extend to the buttocks, spiraling down the leg. If you’re suffering from sciatica, you might feel the discomfort anywhere along this nerve pathway. The pain can even extend to the calf or even into the feet and toes. 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 and function altogether. How physical therapy can help with sciatica If you’re experiencing sciatica, we would encourage you to contact us or your physician for an assessment. Medical news today asserts that over- the-counter painkillers may alleviate pain, but specific physical therapy is often needed. Physical therapy that properly addresses the source of your symptoms can reduce sciatica by carefully introducing exercise and muscle relaxing treatments. These treatments are specific to the source of your symptoms and 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.


Call us today to schedule an appointment!


INGREDIENTS • 1 orange • 3 cups water • 2 (11.3 to 12 oz) cans pear nectar • 1 tbsp honey (optional)

• 4 inches stick cinnamon • 1 tsp whole cloves • 6 tea bags

• Small orange slices, halved (optional) • Stick cinnamon (optional for serving)

DIRECTIONS Using a vegetable peeler, remove three wide strips of peel from the orange; set peel aside. Juic the orange into a large saucepan. Add the water, pear nectar and honey (if using) to orange juic in saucepan. For spice bag: Place the 4 inches of stick cinnamon, the cloves and the orang peel strips in the center of a 6-inch square of double-thickness, 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Brin corners together and tie with 100%-cotton kitchen string. Add spice bag to pear nectar mixtur Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from hea Add tea bags; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and spice bag; discar Serve in warm mugs. If desired, float orange slices on top of individual servings and serve wit additional stick cinnamon.

Patient Success Spotlight


At Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, you will receive hands-on therapy treatments by our friendly, caring health experts during focused and individualized sessions. It’s time to go to Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine if: • You’re tired of living in pain • You want to feel better and move better • You have been in an auto accident or injured on the job • You want to prevent injury 1. Call and talk to your therapist 2. Discover why your pain has come back 3. Get your individualized recovery program

“My back pain has been completely relieved!” “One month and counting of a pain-free life. This is all thanks to the therapists and support staff at your office. My back pain has been completely relieved. Also, I’m stronger and more flexible than before. For me, physical therapy beats other methods hands down! Thanks JPT!” -Larry G.

Relieve Back Pain In Minutes Try this movement if you are experiencing back pain.

SCIATIC NERVE GLIDE Start by lying on your back and holding the back of your knee. Next, attempt to straighten your knee. Lastly, hold this position and then bend your ankle forward and back as shown. Pump ankle for approximately 15 seconds. Repeat on each side 1 to 3 times per day.

If this exercise does not provide you relief/help, please consider an evaluation to see if we can identify the source of your pain and provide a plan to get you back to normal.

Attention Pain Sufferers



On March 5th • 6pm Free Workshop

We are hosting a FREE Lower Back Pain & Sciatica Workshop at our clinic, March 5th, 6pm!

Here’s some of what you’ll learn:

• Do you suffer with back pain or sciatica? • Do you experience pain, numbness or tingling when you stand or walk? • Do you suffer from a past injury? • Do you have pain when you walk for long periods or drive? • Are you afraid your pain will get worse if you don’t do anything about it?

ü The single BIGGEST #1 MISTAKE Low Back Pain & Sciatica sufferers make which actually stops them from healing ü The 3 MOST COMMON CAUSES of Low Back Pain & Sciatica ü What successful treatment and permanent relief looks like without the side effects of medications, injections or surgery

If you have answered YES to any of the above questions (or have a stubborn spouse who is in denial) the Lower Back Pain & Sciatica Workshop may be a life changing event for you…

Lower Back Pain & Sciatica can completely ruin your life.

Don’t delay, register today by calling now!

ü It can take your focus away from enjoying your life… like spending time with your children or grandchildren ü It can mess up your work or force you to do a job you don’t want to do ü It can ruin your travel plans

JOHNSTON OFFICE 5627 NW 86th St #200 Johnston, IA 50131

P: 515-270-0303 F: 515-270-0160


Backpack Strategies for Parents and Students

Wearing the backpack: • Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort. • Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied. • Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly on the child’s back. A pack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles. • Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly. • The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline. • School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose the right size pack for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items. • Only put items in your backpack that you need for the day.

Aching backs and shoulders? Tingling arms? Weakened muscles? Stooped posture? Does your child have these symptoms after wearing a heavy school backpack? Carrying too much weight in a pack or wearing it the wrong way can lead to pain and strain. Parents can take steps to help children load and wear backpacks the correct way to avoid health problems. Loading the backpack: • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack). •Arrangebooksandmaterialsso theywon’tslidearound in thebackpack. • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities. • If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item outside the pack. • If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it.

Have your children been struggling with tackling everyday activities due to back pain? Call us today at 515-270-0303 to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists. We’ll guide you to a new and pain-free lifestyle with exercises and movements catered to your pain level.

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