NJ Sciatica

Physical Therapy Helps Sciatica Healing

NJ Sciatica Treatment-Bergen/Passaic County: New Jersey

Physical therapy is more than just a combination of exercises, massage and repetitive movements to improve physical function and mobility after injury, illness or surgery. The treatment of the pain and debilitation wrought by Sciatica is a prime example of that.

Physical therapists are here to improve your quality of life with a personalized program that works for physical recovery and healing. They not only work with you, but they also share lifestyle changes that will improve your quality of life by relieving sciatica pain. That includes prescribing an at-home program for you to follow that is specific to your needs and the parts of your body most affected.

Sciatica typically results in weakness, numbness and, yes, sometimes excruciating pain in the buttocks and down through the leg, usually tracking on one side of the body. It follows the path of the sciatic nerve which originates in the lower back and then branches out through your buttocks and hips and then down each leg, although it tends to be on one leg or the other.

The good news is that, in most cases, it is less invasive than the previously stated advanced conditions and can be healed in a matter of weeks with physical therapy and other non-operative approaches.

Following are some of the things we can do, each with its own detailed protocols, include:

  • Enhancement of Flexibility and Motion— Stretching tight muscles and teaching the patient how to do it can result in an amazing response it early stages of sciatica. We perform what are known as “passive” motions to stimulate more self-initiated motion and flexibility.
  • Increase and Restore Strength and Endurance— This is where the word “exercise” is the most accurate word for what we do, and repetition is often a part of it. Physical therapists will quickly discern muscle weakness or injury and teach the patient the exercises to bolster strength and endurance, including what is known as “core strengthening.” That core includes the back/pelvis, hips and abdomen.
  • Alleviating Pain— Pain is a symptom of a condition, disease or injury. Sciatica pain reaches beyond dealing with the pain itself. It affects your attitude, your morale and self-confidence in performing what were once common activities. Physical therapy relies on a number of treatments to reduce pain without drugs or surgery, ranging from electrotherapy for electrical nerve stimulation to mechanical traction and motion exercises.
  • Correct Posture Reduces Pressure— Your mother was right about not to slouch and to stand straight. A physical therapist will help you correct posture concerns, which often take the pressure off affected areas. Once that is attained, healing may more appropriately begin.
  • Getting Back to Active Living— The end result of what physical therapy can do through all or some of the above is allowing you to return to the activities you once enjoyed and were once an important part of your life.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy or more information about how we can help you deal with Sciatica.



Why Website Words Seem Familiar


The Common Denominator of Chiropractic Searching

If you do much online research on chiropractic care, you are bound to see an amazing amount of repetition on practitioners’ websites. We’re talking word-for-word by the hundreds, and though this might be technically defined as plagiarism, nobody seems to complain too much.

That is because much of the purloined parlance is within the industry, so to speak. Quoting information that educates the public on the advantages of chiropractic care and mainstream studies that cite its many advantages, seems to be shared material for chiropractic practices all over the country. Plus it is proven and factual.

Aside from informational pages on these websites, you’ll also see this wholesale misappropriation of wordage in blogs on sites promoting everything from nutrition to acupuncture. Bloggers should know better, since they are usually professional writers and copywriters, but, then again, why not repeat someone else’s writing if you can’t state it any better?

Look at it this way. If it was your writing showing up on websites all over the country, you might actually feel complimented because so many people in the field preferred your words over their own.

WhiplashChiropractors are not alone. This seems to be particularly pervasive in the healing arts, including medical doctors, dentists and even healthcare financial advisors. Their websites are replete with hundreds of words lifted from elsewhere, and it is almost impossible to trace their origin.  

We’ve found numerous websites that are sharing writing without attribution, but we doubt anyone is going to mind all that much, because what’s good for one is apparently good for all— as long as the author doesn’t complain.

Take, for example, the following 65 words (part of several hundred but we don’t need to devote that many words to make the point):

In the United States, chiropractic is often considered a complementary health approach. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included a comprehensive survey of the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, about 8 percent of adults (more than 18 million) and nearly 3 percent of children (more than 2 million) had received chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation in the past 12 months…

Even though this survey is pretty much outdated more than a decade later, we found the above passage unchanged on 54 different sites all over the country and once in the UK. Most were chiropractic sites, but it was also on sites promoting pain therapy, yoga, cancer treatment, Chinese martial arts, holistic nursing, massage therapy, a suburban newspaper and even Wikipedia (the subject was therapeutic touch).


Is Acupuncture Better for Pain than Drugs?

NJ Teachers Article for September 2014

There is mounting evidence that acupuncture is more effective than drugs for treating pain – AND there are no dangerous side effects. When it comes to pain and wellness, here’s a lesson worth remembering: acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world. The origins of acupuncture can be traced back thousands of years to ancient China. The practice is based on belief in keeping the body’s vital energy flow, or qi (pronounced chee) in balance. Qi flows through the body along 14 ‘pathways’ or meridians. When energy becomes stuck or blocked, pain and illness can occur. The Chinese believed that the body’s energy flow, or “qi,” was responsible for keeping the body’s basic functions in proper working order, and that disruptions or imbalances in the body’s natural qi could lead to pain and/or illness. Through acupuncture, imbalances in the patient’s qi can be corrected, allowing the body to function optimally.

Read More

Still In Pain?

All teachers know their history.
When it comes to pain and wellness, here’s a lesson worth remembering: acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world and can be traced back thousands of years to ancient China. The practice is based on belief in keeping the body’s vital energy flow, or qi (pronounced chee) in balance. Qi flows through the body along 14 ‘pathways’ or meridians. When energy becomes stuck or blocked, pain and illness can occur. Today, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body’s natural painkillers and increase blood flow.

Many teachers suffer from painful sciatica, carpal tunnel and neck or low back pain due to repetitive motions and, often, stress. Acupuncture has been shown to help patients mange pain for these disorders, as well as many others, such as migraines and joint pain. The process of inserting very fine needles along specific points in the body can release natural pain-relieving chemicals, promote circulation and balance the nervous system.

Acupuncture has become an increasingly popular option for patients who suffer from chronic pain. In fact, the FDA estimates that Americans undergo between 9 and 12 million acupuncture treatments per year – a number that is bound to continue growing, thanks to its safety and effectiveness. The procedure itself involves the use of ultra-thin needles, made from silver and steel alloy. After a patient has been diagnosed and acupuncture has been deemed appropriate, a licensed acupuncturist will map out the points on the patient’s body where the therapeutic needles can be used to effectively restore the body’s natural energy flow. Patients generally feel only a brief sensation when the needles are inserted, and are often surprised at how painless the treatment actually is. In fact, many patients find acupuncture to be soothing and relaxing.

Acupuncture treatments have been shown to cause the release of endorphins, which are the natural pain relieving substances found in the brain and spinal cord. This natural reaction by the body may help to explain how acupuncture is helpful in relieving pain.

Why do teachers love acupuncture?
Because acupuncture is a non-surgical, drug-free technique that has been used to successfully treat not only pain in the back, neck, shoulders and extremities, but it may also be used to help with relaxation, losing weight, quitting smoking, or reducing anxiety.

Reprinted with permission from Think Teachers Magazine.

Questions About Sciatica Answered

What is Sciatica?
Back injury doctors will tell you that sciatica is a condition in which pain originating from the low back or buttock area travels down one or both legs. The pain of sciatica has been described as achy, sharp, tingling, or has sometimes been likened to electric shocks. Pain can be mild, moderate or severe, infrequent or constant, depending on the degree of nerve involvement.

What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is usually caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, a large nerve originating at the base of the spine. This compression can be caused by subluxations (misalignment) of the lower spine; herniated or bulging discs; pregnancy and childbirth (when pelvic bones shift and the tissues surrounding them are softer and more movable); tumors or diabetes.

Sciatica is often a result of Piriformis Syndrome. The piriformis muscle is located in the lower spine and is involved in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve is located directly beneath the piriformis muscle, so any injury or disorder affecting this muscle can result in pinching of the sciatic nerve.

How Does a Back Pain Specialist Treat Sciatica?
Initially the doctor will need to accurately diagnose the cause of a patient’s sciatica. This involves taking the patient’s medical history, conducting a thorough physical and neurological examination and employing various diagnostic tests, including X-ray, MRI, CT scans and, if needed nerve testing including electromyography. In most cases, sciatica can be treated non-surgically and non-invasively.

Therapy will be customized based on the most effective way for the patient’s body to begin to heal itself, and may include physical therapy, ice/cold therapy, electrical stimulation (TENS), and spinal manipulation. Advanced therapies such as spinal decompression and deep tissue medical laser therapy can also create dramatic results.

Reprinted with permission from Think Teachers Magazine.