DID YOU KNOW…
More than 85% of the population sooner or later experience back pain. Back pain is one of many common causes of absence at work and a reason for which, people like us are requested to attend to the issue urgently.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
But there’s a lot of confusion between sciatica and low back pain and very often these two words are used incorrectly.
Generally speaking, there are two main groups of causes: they can be mechanical, a problem affecting structures of your body (bones, muscles or ligaments) or functional, related to the way we use our back.
A mechanical damage to the spine such as protrusion or hernia leads to sciatica by pinching the root of Sciatic nerve and hence inflaming it.
On the other hand, a ‘pure’ low back pain usually is caused by a combination of causes including posture and daily habits in the first place and these affect mainly muscles and ligaments.
Symptoms given are completely different even though they often get confused for one another.
LOWER BACK PAIN
Low back pain is mainly soreness and discomfort, a dull pain very difficult to localise in the lumbar region of the spine. With certain movements or positions, the pain suddenly gets sharper and takes the breath away.
Because of it, movements of the back are quite limited as well as daily activities and the person struggles to stand straight. Since quite often it is due to a contracted muscle, the pain reduces with massages, rest and heat.
After an initial assessment, including checking medical background, checking daily habits and an observation and palpation of the area to appreciate the muscular contraction, the treatment consists mainly in a massage where we’ll help relax the muscle, followed by some exercises to stretch back muscles. Throughout the session, we will give you advice and suggestions on how to take better care of your back.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY BODY WHEN I HAVE SCIATICA?
On the other side, sciatic pain involves a damage of one or more of the discs in the lumbar area of the spine. Because of the narrowness of these structures, when a disc breaks, its jelly-like content is squeezed out and might trap the nerve against the vertebra.
As a reaction to this, the nerve gets inflamed and gives symptoms such as a pain that spreads to the butt and leg, down to the foot in worse situations. This kind of pain is very sharp, running on the backside of the leg.
Quite commonly, people describe it as a warm or burning sensation triggered by specific movements, associated to numbness and tingling on the foot and toes and to weakness of muscles. This pain is worsened when sneezing, coughing or laughing; the person cannot find relief in any particular position if held for too long. Back flexibility is also limited, and it is completely impossible to bend backwards as to look at the ceiling. Heat makes it worse by increasing the inflammation.
During the assessment, we will examine thoroughly the mobility of the back in every direction and evaluate the pain response to each of them because this will help plan an appropriate exercises programme.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
If you suffer by lower back pain, sciatica or sports injuries, we’ll be able to take a good thorough look at you to see what the issue is, tailor a programme for your needs and work with you overcome your problems.
Fill in the contact form below or contact us today to see how we can help you.