Sciatic Pain, Are You Suffering? Louisiana Residents Now Have Direct Access to Physical Therapy!

LOUISIANA RECENTLY PASSED A BILL ALLOWING PATIENTS DIRECT ACCESS TO PHYSICAL THERAPY WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S REFERRAL! CALL US TODAY TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ONE OF OUR DOCTOR’S OF PHYSICAL THERAPY AND LET US HELP YOU GET MOVING IN THE RIGHT AND PAIN FREE DIRECTION!! 504.324.8345

Top 10 Most Burning Questions for Sciatica

Therapydia NOLA
504.324.8345
hello@therapydianola.com

1. Q. How long is this going to take to go away?
A. It depends…it depends on YOU.

In general, it takes 4 to 8 weeks to go through the first 2 phases of healing (no pain, all movement and strength back to normal.

It may take another 1 to 4 months to get back to all activities you want to do…depending on how active you are. This is the third phase of healing.

Here are some variables that determine how fast someone can heal;
√ Overall health. Healthy people heal faster. Young people heal faster.
√ Other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, tobacco use, alcohol abuse and body weight all influence healing rates and make the time to heal longer.
√ Diet. People who consume more nutrients in their calories (Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls this “Nutrarian”) heal faster than those who primarily eat processed foods.
√ Rest levels. Our bodies need sleep and rest to rebuild. A lack of sleep slows healing time.
√ Stress levels. People who have high levels of stress heal more slowly.
√ Sedentary lifestyle. People who sit all day for work or to watch TV heal more slowly.
√ People who follow advice and instruction from top level healthcare professionals heal more quickly than those who do not follow through with care.
√ People who are highly aware of their daily postures and habits heal more quickly, because they can adjust habits such as sleep or sitting positions more quickly.

2. Q: How long before I see improvements?
A: Most people we see in the clinic feel better in 2 to 3 visits or within 1 to 2 weeks. If you go longer than 2 weeks without feeling better or moving better, you may be wrong about the cause of your sciatica.
Because we offer one on one care with our patients, your therapist can and will reassess you progress before and during you visit to assure you are getting the care you need to meet your goals.

3. Q: Can I be completely healed or will this come back again:
A: Most people we see who complete the 3 Phases of Healing (meaning they no longer have pain, motion and strength are back to normal and they’re back to doing all the activites they want to do without pain) have a minimal chance the pain will return. The stronger the person is, the less likely the sciatica symptoms will come back.

Your body is a bit like a car. If you take care of it, regularly change the oil and keep it running and fine tuned, there is little chance it will break down. If you ignore it, it is very likely to break down and be in need of repair.

4. Q: Do I need any special equipment?
A: At Therapydia NOLA we use a minimalist approach. We do no use big fancy equipment. [Our model focuses on one on one hands on physical therapy.] We use a variety of techniques including, manual therapy, instrument assisted manual therapy, dry needing, SFMA, and if needed, we have a traction unit in our private treatment room. All patient treatment plans for both in clinic and at home exercises are tailored to each individual and monitored closely by their Doctor of Physical Therapy. Our patients are never handed off to an assistant or tech.

5. Q: Should I use heat or ice on my leg?
A: The cause of most sciatica (pain, numbness or tingling in the leg) is in the lower back. Ice or heat on the leg will not change this.

Consider that sciatica is “inflammation”. So if you’re inflamed, do you want to put heat on it and make it more inflamed? Or ice to calm the inflammation down? We have seen some people use ice on the lower back to calm down the inflammation temporarily.

6. Q: Which exercises should I do:
A: The best exercises for you depend on what the cause of your sciatica is.

We cover the 3 most common causes;
Herniated discs
Stenosis, arthritis
Pelvic or SI joint problem

Each has a series of gradually more advanced exercises. Your therapist will address this and design your exercise program.

7. Q: How often should I do the exercises: And do I need to do them forever?
A: Most people we work with in the clinic for sciatica do the exercises at least once per day, every day. Some will do them up to 3 times per day.

Doing the same exact exercises for years without changing could be a mistake. In general, to get stronger, your exercise should progress and get more difficult. With training your body adapts.

Keep in mind, there are 2 rules for training;
1. Everything works.
2. Nothing works forever.

One of the best programs you can move on to once you complete the 3 Phases of Healing for your sciatica is a consistent walking program. People who walk every day have less risk of reinjuring their back and sciatica.

8. Q: What do I need to do for complete care? Am I going to relapse?
A: The best thing to do for sciatica, if you are worried about it coming back again in the future, is to complete all 3 Phases of Healing.

Phase One is where you focus on getting rid of the pain, numbness and tingling.
Phase Two is where you focus on getting normal movement back and full strength.
Phase Three is where you go back to previous activities you want to do.

We will want to know what your previous activities were before your sciatica, once you are at phase 3 we will guide you back into those activities slowly, after a couple of months we will want to re-check your progress. However, it is very important that you also continue your home program of exercises to insure your body continues to get stronger.

Some people will have a relapse. We will then take a look at the activity and at the program to help them get back on the right track. As mentioned before, people who are stronger recover more quickly. It is usually only one to two visits before that person is on the right track again.

9. Q: How do I know the cause of my pain?
A: There are 3 common cause of pain and here are some general guidelines for each;
-People with sciatica from herniated disc usually have pain bending forward, twisting, coughing or sneezing. The sciatic pain they experience is usually sharp and runs specifically down the back of the leg, possibly into the foot. Herniated disc sufferers are usually 35 years of age or younger.
-People suffering from sciatica because of stenosis or arthritis usually answer yes to these 3 questions;
50 years of age or older?
Pain with standing or walking?
Relief with sitting?
-People suffering with sciatica from SI Joint or Pelvic problems usually have pain with sitting for long periods of time. The sciatica they experience is usually on the outside of the thigh. Symptoms may include heaviness of one leg or feeling twisted.

10. Q: Which position should I sleep in?
A: On your back is best. Next would be on your side. Last would be your stomach.
Regardless, it is best to keep your spine in a neutral position and not twisted to the left or the right, keeping it’s natural curve. Pillows or folded towels can be placed under your knees, side, or feet to help you sleep in the least painful position for you.

BOOT CAMP

Our boot campers are loving their sessions so much, we are doing it again! Our THIRD BOOT CAMP begins Tuesday, June 2 @ 5:30p.m. Boot Camp is held for six weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Therapydia NOLA! Exercises are tailored to suit the physical needs of everyone in the class, therefore space is limited! Call us today for more information and to reserve your spot!!!! 504.324.8345 or you can email Heidi @ heidi@therapydianola.com

Understand Your MRI Results

shutterstock203524102Getting MRI results can sometimes be intimidating. Big words and diagnosis’ that can be scary. Here is a GREAT article that is certain to ease the anxiety of MRI results.

http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/you-are-not-your-mri-results

Weighing in on Wednesday: Why Should You See A Physical Therapist?

Why see a physical therapist? “Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility – in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.” (http://www.apta.org/AboutPTs/) Physical Therapists can also guide you in correct exercise patterns to PREVENT INJURIES BEFORE THEY OCCUR!! Call us for your evaluation and injury prevention screen today!! 504.324.8345!
HAPPY WEIGHING IN ON WEDNESDAY!

pinchednerve

Tasty Tuesday: Water, Taste Great!

With the summer heat approaching it is very important to stay hydrated for outdoor activities! Please drink your water! Here are some ways to make your water more interesting. The better it taste, the more you will drink!!
HAPPY TASTY TUESDAY!!

 

 

http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/50-ways-to-make-water-taste-better/

Movement Monday: Start Your Mornings Right

Running from the bedroom to the kitchen to pour a hot cup of coffee is not the ideal way to start your day. We think it is, and I can’t go more than five minutes of being awake before pouring the first cup. But after being sedentary for our hours of sleep, we should start our day with a few stretches, deep breathing, and hydration to get our bodies and our minds ready for whatever our day will entail. So instead of reaching for the coffee first, have some water and do these simple stretches to start your day off right and healthy. You can have your coffee afterwards!
HAPPY MOVEMENT MONDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!

http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_should_do_each_morning

 

Weighing In On Wednesday: Not Everyone Likes to Exercise

If you do not like to exercise, or even the thought of doing so, you are not alone. There are as many excuses as there are stars in the sky to get out of doing it. But our overall physical health depends on a combination of both exercise and nutrition. So if you haven’t exercised in a while or you have been thinking you should begin an exercise routine, just take the first step! The first step is always the hardest, you cannot run before you walk. Here is an article that gives simple steps to beginning a work out routine that you will stick with, EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE TO EXERCISE!
HAPPY WEIGHING IN ON WEDNESDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!!

http://summertomato.com/how-to-start-working-out-when-you-dont-like-to-exercise/

Movement Monday: Boot Camp at Therapydia NOLA

Therapydia NOLA will be starting our next boot camp on Tuesday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m. Sessions will last six (6) weeks and will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. It is not too late to join! Whether you are a beginner or have participated in boot camps in the past, we would love to have you. Our boot camp is uniquely tailored by our Doctor of Physical Therapy to meet the level/needs of every individual in a small group setting. Call us today to reserve your spot 504.324.8345! Or you can send us an email @ hello@therapydianola.com. Space is limited.
HAPPY MOVEMENT MONDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!

Movement Monday

The CDC reports that 1 out of every 3 adults over the age of 65 fall every year. And that the leading cause of bone fractures in older adults are due to falls. Also, reported by the CDC is that the older we get the greater the risk of falls. It is never too early to start strengthening and balance exercises to prevent this from happening. See a physical therapist, have a balance test, and see what you can do to be fall free!! Here are some recommendations from the CDC for fall prevention in the older adult population;
“How can older adults prevent falls
Older adults can stay independent and reduce their chances of falling.
•Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
•Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
•Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
•Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes.
To lower their hip fracture risk, older adults can:
•Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or from supplements.
•Do weight bearing exercise.
•Get screened and, if needed, treated for osteoporosis.”
HAPPY MOVEMENT MONDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!

Therapy Thursday: Proper Ankle Dorsiflexion For Proper Squat Technique And To Reduce Knee Pain

This week’s THERAPY THURSDAY is about the ankles so here is a quick video to help improve closed chain ankle dorsiflexion. Proper ankle dorsiflexion is needed to achieve full squat depth while keeping your heels on the ground. Having limited ankle dorsiflexion can also be a contributing factor to knee pain. HAPPY THERAPY THURSDAY from THERAPYDIA NOLA!