In this post, I’d like to offer a step-by-step guide to addressing your sciatica, no matter if it has been going on for 3 days or 3 years. My goal is to at least give you a proactive head start and empower you with at least a little knowledge on what you should be actively doing now, even if you are scheduled to work with a physical therapist or another health practitioner in the very near future.
The following tips and instructions should help with at least some of your symptoms, if not all.
I will not go into details as the possible cause and symptoms of why you might be experiencing. For this I will redirect you to a previous post I wrote in 2017, 3 Common Causes & Symptoms of Back Pain & Sciatica.
You can also check more on the definition of sciatica and things to consider in this free E-book on Sciatica:
Daily tips series: Easy Tips To Address Your Back Pain. Tip 4. Use an extra pillow at night.
Daily tips series: Easy Tips To Address Your Back Pain. Tip 3. It's Ok To Slouch But Change Position Often.
Yes, posture that prevent overstressing your back, injured or not, is important.
I might take a lot of heat from many people, including other physical therapists, for saying this but as humans, we are bound to slouch and have poor posture numerous times a day and it is not possible to maintain ideal posture 24 hours a day. I am saying that as a human.
Now, as a physiotherapist...
Greeting readers! For the next couple weeks, I will post one daily tip that might help you treat your acute or chronic back pain. My goal is to keep it short and to the point, with simple explanations.
Lower back pain (LBP) is so common and pretty much every single human being on this planet will experience some degrees of back pain, some chronically and others rarely.In most cases, an overwhelming majority of cases of LBP are benign and will go away through a natural course after 3 weeks. Only in a minority of cases, someone experience back pain which represent a medical emergency or more serious condition( cancer/ tumor, myelopathy, spinal infection…).
LBP is also the most common reason for missed work days in the United States and represents a major amount of $$$ spent in healthcare cost. Especially due to all too often over medicalized approach to its treatment with unnecessary expensive imaging (MRI, CT scans), recurrent physicians visits, medications ( especially the overuse of pain killers which has led to a major opioid dependency and addiction for millions of people…but that is another topic…)
What Everybody Ought To Know About Avoiding Neck and Back Pain By Using The Right Pillow & Better Sleeping Position
Check this video on my thoughts of what is a better sleeping position and what kind of pillow to use for improve comfort and avoiding a stiff or painful neck in the morning. The first video is the unabridged version and the second one( follow the link) is shorter but with some helpful diagrams.
How To Receive Quality Physical Therapy in Burien and Seattle And Not Let Your Insurance Dictate Your Care
Burien, Seattle and Greater Seattle residents,
Before typing “physical therapy near me,” and choosing a provider , make sure you're making the right decision...and consider all your options.
Butheau Physical therapy offers quality, private, one-on-one physical therapy treatments.
With us, you can pick a convenient time of treatment to your convenience. We drive to you: at home, your work, or location of your choice, with all the equipment needed. Done are the days of rushing out of work, taking time from your hardly earned banked time off, and/or fighting traffic to get to your PT treatment on time.
Is Seating The Worst Thing You Can Do When You Have Back Pain? Treating Your Back Pain & Sciatica Could Be As Easy As These Easy Movements. Sciatica serie, Part III
A lot of patients I treat for lower back pain are often surprised by how quick they improve after their first treatments...while at the same time thinking "if only I d had known what movement to do and which one to avoid..."
Let's talk about my patient Richard again. Before he made the decisions to look for additional help in treating his sciatica, he had been suffering for at least 4 weeks as he did not see much change in his symptoms when taking the pain killers he was prescribed by his doctor and he hated the side effect of drowsiness and constipation.
Richard also has a desk job. Sitting for long periods of time is notoriously not ideal when you suffer from acute back pain.
Have You Been Told By Your Doctor To Rest Because You Suffer From Sciatica? Try These Exercises & Techniques Instead! Sciatica Serie Part I
SCIATICA: The Other S Word Everybody Dread
If you have experienced sciatica, know someone who has experienced it first hand or heard that term before, you must know it is a very debilitating condition that can arise... generally suddenly, without warning signs.
Sciatica is not a diagnosis. It is a symptoms that can originate from various medical condition.
It refers to the pain one feels down their buttocks, thighs and/ or below their knee and possibly into foot and toes. It occurs with certain motions and originates in the lower back( your lumbar spine and tailbone/ the last 5 spinal vertebrae and sacrum) when your sciatic nerve ( the largest nerve in your body) or one of its nerve roots( the nerve origin coming out between each vertebrae of your spine) gets irritated by another structure.
This creates serious and acute pain down your lower back, buttocks, thighs and sometimes all the way down to your toes. Sharp, searing, and shooting pain, "zingers", numbness, tingling, " cold water running down my leg" are common description of sciatica.
Pierre-Yves Butheau, MPT, CMP has been a physiotherapist for 19 years and has a passion for helping people move better, return from and prevent injuries, as well as improve their function and quality of life. He has a strong interest in addressing the root cause of and treating neuro-musculoskeletal conditions while educating his patients with the knowledge to manage their conditions and prevent recurrence. Pierre also has a niche in treating Bell's palsy and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions.