Back Pain & Sciatica

Back Pain & Sciatica Relief

Back pain is one of the most common issues that send people of all ages to see a physical therapist. A strong, flexible back is central to proper movement, and when you suffer from back pain or stiffness, your quality of life is greatly impacted. 

Types of Back Pain

Back pain is generally categorized as acute or chronic. Acute back pain is short-term pain that is caused by an injury, like trauma from a car accident or a strain from lifting something heavy incorrectly. Chronic back pain lasts several months or longer, and can be recurring or always present. Chronic back pain is often caused by natural wear-and-tear on the body as we age. 

Back Pain Symptoms

Depending on the root cause, back pain symptoms can range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing, or burning sensation. 

Causes of Back Pain

Just as back pain can take different forms and cause different sensations, there are a variety of reasons that you could be experiencing back pain.

  • Muscle or Ligament Strain – This is the most common cause of back pain, and is due to overuse or improper technique when lifting something heavy. This 
  • Sciatica – When the sciatic nerve—the largest nerve in the body—is irritated or compressed, it can cause a shooting or burning sensation in your lower back and down your leg. While sciatica is easy to diagnose, there are many different methods for treatment. 
  • Arthritis – Just as arthritis can affect other joints, it can affect the lower back causing stiffness and inflammation. It can also lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord called spinal stenosis. 
  • Disc and Spine Conditions – The discs in your back act as cushioning for the vertebrae in your back, and when these discs are injured they can irritate nerves and cause back pain. Bulging, ruptured, or herniated discs are common terms for this type of condition. 


Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Physical therapy is generally very effective for treating back pain. Treatments usually are a combination of passive and active modalities.

Passive treatments could include:

  • Heat and ice
  • ultrasound
  • TENS units

Active treatments could include:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Strength training
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Water therapy

When you meet with a physical therapist, you should expect to be examined and answer some questions about your pain and your goals. This will help your physical therapist create an individualized treatment plan to help you get rid of your pain and get back to doing the things you love to do. 

Questions about your pain? Schedule a Free Discovery Visit to talk with us about how we can help you get back to doing what you love!

Questions about your pain? Schedule a Free Discovery Visit to talk with us about how we cna help you get back to doing what you love!


Movement Physiotherapy & Performance
15 Morgantown St,
Uniontown, PA 15401

(724) 984-1045
Email Us

Monday - Friday: 8AM–8PM
Saturday - Sunday: 8AM–6PM

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