221221 For the next several weeks we are going to discuss Sciatica. by leading physical therapist, Dr. Luke Gordon
If you ever survey your friends on the topic, you’ll likely find that nearly all of them have had issues with their back at some point. Not everyone will experience sciatica, which is great, but regrettably, many of them will share the unforeseen pain of this common complaint.
To start off this new series, I want to tell you about a client we worked with at the clinic not too long ago, as her story is quite common. Here’s how her story goes:
Mary’s pain started when she was rushing to finish off a load of laundry one evening. When she bent down to pick up the basket, she experienced a sharp pain in her lower back that left her hunched over.
Like most of us, she figured a couple of days of “taking it easy” would do the trick, and she’d be back to normal in no time. Sadly, her couple of days of rest turned into several weeks. Not only that, but all of the sitting and resting was actually making her back pain worse, and her pain gradually started to shoot down the back of her left buttocks and into her leg.
We call this type of pain shooting in the leg “sciatica.” In Mary’s case, her lower back pain and sciatica was the result of a bulging disc in her spine. Her bulging disc was putting pressure on her sciatic nerve, causing pain as well as some numbness and tingling in her leg.
So, what did Mary do wrong? And what can she do to cure her back pain and sciatica? You may have already noticed this, but Mary’s biggest mistake is that she tried to ignore her pain and thought that resting would make it better. Frequently, people compound this mistake by taking painkillers, which only mask the pain, and they often make themselves worse in the process.
You may be asking yourself this question: “Why doesn’t resting help?” It seems like it should, right? In this case, Mary’s resting was primarily sitting down. And while sitting can feel good for brief periods when you have a bulging disc, it’s actually putting a ton of pressure on the disc. If you’ve ever had a bulging disc, you’ve probably experienced this… It feels good to sit, but then when you try to stand up, you feel even worse than before!
To be continued next week.
 The author, Luke Gordon, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and owner of Gordon Physical Therapy. He’s happy to answer any questions about back pain and sciatica by phone at (509) 892-5442 or by email at Luke@ GordonPhysicalTherapy.com Back Pain: The #1 Biggest Mistake Back Pain & Sciatica Sufferers make.
For more information: https://physicaltherapyspokane.com/