Back Pain & Sciatica
We have complied information on the top 3 causes of low back pain and sciatica. If you suffer from back pain, it is important to find the cause of your pain so that you can seek treatment for your condition that doesn't involve medication, injection or surgery. Physical therapy is proven to relieve or completely resolve symptoms of back pain and sciatica. As doctors of physical therapy, we are experienced at identifying the cause of back pain, without requiring expensive MRIs or x rays, and use research to provide treatment most specific to the cause of your symptoms.
Give us a call at 630-761-0900 to schedule your appointment today.
Cause #1: Herniated Discs
Positive Signs of Herniated Discs:
Less than 35 years of age
Pain with bending forward, coughing, sneezing, twisting or lifting
Relief with standing and walking.
If you have a herniated disc typically you will have pain in your lower back which radiates down into one leg with one or more of the following: pain, numbness or tingling.
The cause of herniated discs can either be repetitive or traumatic in nature. Repetitive injury from lifting with poor body mechanics or repeated forward bending causes the outer ring of the spinal disc to tear over time allowing the center portion of the disc, which is more gel like, to flow out and press on the nerve or spinal cord causing pain. Traumatic etiology usually is from a car accident.
Cause #2: Arthritis, Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease
Positive Signs of Arthritis, Stenosis and Degenerative Disc Disease
Greater than 50 years of age
Pain, numbness or tingling with standing and walking
Relief with sitting
If you can identify with the 3 above statements, then there is a 99% chance that your back pain is being caused by this condition.
There are 2 types of stenosis: foraminal and central. Foraminal stenosis is caused from the reduction in spinal disc height (caused from losing water as we age) reducing the size of the foramen, or hole, where the nerve leaves the spinal cord. When bending backwards, as in walking or standing, the foramen which is already smaller will reduce in size even more pressing on the nerve creating pain. In central stenosis, extra bone develops inside the larger foramen in which the spinal cord sits. This places pressure on the spinal cord creating pain in both legs.
Cause #3: SI Joint and Pelvic Pain
Positive Signs of Sacroiliac Joint (SI joint) and Pelvic Pain
Pain with changing position, getting into/out of the car, rolling over in bed and with sitting for long periods of time
Pain can be sharp radiating into groin or wrap around from the back into the front of the thigh as more of an ache
It is important to note that this condition will not show up on an x ray or MRI. But, if you have been treated for back pain previously without success or have any of the above signs, then you may have an underlying SI joint problem. The cause of pain when having an SI joint problem is one side of the pelvis is moving either too much or too little. This excessive movement or lack of movement throws off the mechanics of the opposite side of the pelvis and lumbar spine causing pain.
Physical therapy can usually improve or completely resolve your symptoms using specific exercises and manual therapy techniques. If you would like to speak with one of our physical therapists and discuss your symptoms, give us a call at 630-761-0900 and we can schedule a phone or in person consultation.