Backpain & Sciatica Blog – Superior Physical Therapy

Backpain & Sciatica Blog

January 6, 2017

Everything You Need To Know About Lower Back Pain

By Dr. Andrew Gorecki, Physical Therapist

 

In this Vlog (Video Blog) learn how the lower back pain symptoms are almost never caused by the lower back itself…

Part 1 is an anatomy lesson which describes how the lower back is designed and what is was designed to do.  This includes description of the anatomy of the lower back including what the disc is, the nerve roots coming out of the spine, the sacroiliac joint, what stenosis or arthritis means, what sciatica is, and what facet joints are.

Part 2 discusses the different types of lower back pain problems and what structures are involved.  The types discussed are the most common reasons people have pain and they include facet pain, stenosis (aka arthritis, degenerative disc disease), disc bulge or disc herniation, SI or sacroiliac pain.

 

Part 3 is the final video in this series which discusses the top 3 strategies to relieve lower back pain naturally by improving motion in the areas that surround the spine.

The take home message here is that there are many types of lower back pain but the true cause of lower back pain almost always comes from poor motion in the areas above and below the lumbar spine.  This includes the hips and the upper back. If we focus on those areas you will find a permanent solution to lower back pain.  You can avoid medications, injections, and surgery.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

December 7, 2016

One of the top 3 most common treatments for lower back pain or sciatica currently is a cortisone injection.  So, what exactly does a cortisone injection do? As a physical therapist and a past lower back pain sufferer who has had many injections, I’m going to describe exactly what happens.

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First it is important to recognize that most types of lower back pain have a level of elevated inflammation that is present. Inflammation is the bodies second phase of healing.

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So, it would be safe to say that cells have been damaged in your back and the body is trying to heal them.  So, it calls upon inflammation to initiate that process. The problem with inflammation is that if it hangs around too long or builds up to a level that is too high it can cause pressure.  Pressure then causes pain because it mechanically stimulates a nerve.

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Cortisone is a strong anti-inflammatory drug which decreases the bodies ability to deliver inflammation to an area.  This often times reduces the inflammation and the pain.  The benefit of an injection is that it is able to deliver cortisone directly to the site that is inflamed which is much more efficient than taking anti inflammatories orally which has an effect on the entire body.  Usually with back pain there is one or two nerves that are being compressed and delivering cortisone can help reduce the pain immediately.

The overall problem with cortisone injections are not that they are effective at treating pain but the fact that they are not effective at eliminating what caused the cells to be damaged initially which led to inflammation in the first place.  In fact from my own personal experience feeling better after a cortisone injection leads to less pain and improved ability to move.  And of course I went ahead and increased my activity level because I felt better and I made my problem worse.  The reason I made my back pain worse in the long run was because I had a movement problem.  The movement problem was actually causing damage in the my spine. So my new ability to return to movement because I was pain free actually allowed me to damage my spine more.

So to get the best results we should use injections into the lower back as a way to immediately relieve pain but we should also be searching for the movement problem that caused the damage in the first place.  Most people have an  underlying movement problem that is cause inflammation.  Remember pain and inflammation are signals that something is being damaged.  Simply covering that up and making someone feel better is not going to provide a long term solution, at least not on purpose .

If you would like to learn more about Lower Back Pain and Sciatica and how Injections and  other treatments work please click the image below to learn about our upcoming free workshop.

 

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DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

November 30, 2016

There Are Only Two Types of Back Injuries

By Dr. Andrew Gorecki

There Is no question that the world we live in is full of information about any topic you can imagine.  This can be helpful and it can be a challenge at the same time.  Especially when trying to find accurate information as it relates to your health.  In this blog I’m am going to attempt to simplify a very complicated issue, Back Pain.  There are only two types of Back injuries that lead to pain.  For reference, we will be using the graphic below.

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The first category of injury is called Acute Trauma. This is an injury where you know the exact time and place where you were injured. You had an incident where you fell, or were hit, or slipped, or tripped, or any movement that suddenly caused the pain.  In the diagram above this can be seen as the line that begins as a Red line and progresses to a green line.  For reference, the x axis demonstrates that as you move to the right Time increases as well as money, pain and pathology. The Y axis demonstrates that as you move up the axis dysfunction increases which means that you have more difficulty with tasks that are normal to your life.  The acute trauma starts out way at the top of the y axis meaning the dysfunction is very severe.  You may have fallen down and broke a hip.  You know the exact time that the injury occurred and the damage was done quickly.  As time goes on you begin to heal. The initial injury was very costly because you had to have surgery.  As you move down the x axis you will begin to see that your body improves and your limitations or dysfunction goes down.

The second category of an injury is called Cumulative Trauma.  This is an injury where you noticed some discomfort on some days and some days you were fine.  The intermittent discomfort may have been occurring over years.  People typically describe this as “my back goes out once in a while”.  This injury is demonstrated by the green line that begins to turn red as time goes by.  This diagram also demonstrates a dotted line in the center of the graph which is called the Detection Zone.  There is a time where there is dysfunction but to the untrained eye it may be undetected.  As the person moves beyond the detection zone and to the upper right corner of the graph the dysfunction becomes great enough to seek help of experts.  These experts might include primary care physician, physical therapy, surgeons, etc.

So in all reality most people suffering with lower back pain fall into the Cumulative Trauma category.  I would suggest that over 90% of people suffering with low back pain fall into this category.  This means that the earlier it is detected and treated the less likely it is that the person will progress to severe limitations in ability to move.  This also means that there is an opportunity to fix problems before they are detected or before they limit a person’s quality of life.  So no matter the type of low back pain that you have been diagnosed with you need to recognize that the problem has been evolving or cumulating over time.  This is because as you continue to ignore problems they cumulate.  In order to stop this from happening you must seek the help of an expert who knows how to first detect the dysfunction and second treat the dysfunction.

If you have interest in learn more about this topic we are hosting a Free Lower Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop and you can learn more by clicking the image below.

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DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

November 18, 2016

As a lower back specialist who has worked with thousands of people suffering with lower back pain and having experienced over a year of lower back pain myself and every possible intervention known to man I know for a fact that the number one difficulty when someone has back pain is walking.  Now I’m here to share with you why that is. Here are the 5 most common reasons why walking is so hard and painful when your back hurts. Read more…

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

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