Lower back pain can vary from dull pain that develops gradually to sudden, sharp or persistent pain felt below the waist. At some point during life we may well experience low back pain that may travel downward into the buttocks and sometimes into one or both lower extremities. The most common cause is muscle strain often related to heavy physical labour, lifting or forceful movement, bending or twisting into awkward positions, or standing in one position too long.
Starting at the back of the pelvis (sacrum), the sciatic nerve runs from the back, under the buttock, and downward through the hip area into each leg. Pain is experienced there is pressure on the spinal nerve root.
You may find that you is you have slipped on your lower back or have injured either the SI joint or coccyx, been in a car accident or have had a previous back injury you may be more prone to developing back ache.
One way of treating lower back pain is hydrotherapy, where the buoyancy of the water places less pressure on the affected joint. Your physiotherapist will also assess your condition and prescribe a number of exercises that you can do to release the nerve and relieve the pain.
Although Sciatica is painful, it’s important to understand that you do have the power to assist in your own recovery.
Here are a few hints and tips on how to manage your recovery:
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you.
- Bend your right leg, putting your right ankle on top of the left knee.
- Lean forward and allow your upper body to reach toward your thigh.
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
It’s also important to consider preventative measures to ensure optimal functionality. There are a number of activities that you can do to minimise another sciatic flare up. If you are beginning to feel discomfort in the lower back, act now before the discomfort becomes to much.
- Practice proper lifting techniques.
- Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles of your back and abdomen, which work to support your spine.
- Use good posture when sitting, standing, and sleeping.
- Avoid sitting for long periods.
AP Physiotherapists looks for the root cause of your sciatic pain and works on a treatment plan which could include any or all of the following:
• Posture & Ergonomics
• Identification & Correction of Muscle Imbalances
• Fascia and Trigger point release
• Mobilization of restricted joints
• Stress Management
• Rehabilitation exercises
• Pain Neuroscience Education
With the growing evidence of the body and mind connection it is always important to include at least a discussion on how we think and feel about our pain. What do we believe, what have we been told and what do we fear. Understanding what sciatica is – and what it is not – in itself can be a powerful analgesic.
Together with your Physiotherapist the right plan will be put together – we each heal and precess information differently. Our role is to guide you in a direction that works for you!