What is low back pain?
Low back pain is any pain or discomfort located below the ribs and above the buttocks. This pain may be accompanied by radiating pain in the leg. In many cases, the cause of the pain cannot be identified and is only very rarely attributable to a serious condition.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is lower back pain that radiates to the buttocks and to the back and sides of the thighs and legs; it can even extend to the feet.
How physical therapy can help
Physical therapists are trained to assess and treat musculo-skeletal problems like low back pain using therapeutic tools and techniques. These include:
- Education and advice about sports
- Exercises (cardiovascular, flexibility, strengthening, stabilization, etc.)
- Manual therapy (movements, manipulations, etc.)
Prevention and tips
- Stay active: Try to get out of bed and keep up your activities, including work. Do not hesitate to split up your tasks and take breaks to control pain.
- Apply cold and heat: This helps manage the pain. Applications should not exceed 20 minutes. Be sure to check your skin after application to avoid burns.
- Medication: Acetaminophen and anti-inflammatories can help relieve low back pain. Please check with your pharmacist or doctor.
- Avoid: Extended time lying in bed or sitting, lifting heavy weights, bending over and twisting your torso.
Getting evaluated by a physical therapist will allow you to pinpoint the personalized techniques that give you the best chance of resuming your activities safely.
Feel free to talk to your physical therapist.