Low back pain (LBP), including sciatica, is the number one reason why people seek out medical attention1 and can represent a multitude of diagnoses. Once your MD has diagnosed your back conditions, based on the physical exam and testing procedures, your PT will do a complete evaluation to fine-tune the causes of your symptoms. The PT will ask discerning questions such as, “What hurts more, sitting or standing? Lying on your back or side?” Does your back hurt when you sneeze or cough?” “Does pain radiate down your leg upon bending or lifting?” These questions help determine what may be causing your symptoms. Your PT will then have a better understanding of your back/sciatic pain and your anatomy in order to determine the best treatment approach.
The appropriate treatment will include a variety of traditional/non-traditional manual therapies and functional rehab. The overall treatment plan will promote the integration of all body systems involved in order to decrease, alleviate, and prevent symptoms. In addition, your PT will provide you with the necessary education regarding your back problems to help you protect your back and prevent re-occurrences.
1. Hanney WL, Morey JK, Beekhuizen KS. Implications for physical activity in the population with low back pain. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2009;3(1):63-70.