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sciatica an back pain during pregnancy

Find Relief From Sciatica Or Back Pain During Pregnancy

 

Pregnancy is an absolute miracle, but it can also cause additional stress on the body. It is important to be aware of the possible changes that occur during pregnancy and ways that you can help your body through the process. The typical changes that the body goes through include weight gain, a shift of one’s center of gravity and hormonal changes; adding back pain or sciatica to that list is not a welcome addition!

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, individual nerve roots branch out from the spine and lower back and then combine to form the “sciatic nerve.” The term sciatica is used to describe symptoms of leg pain, and occur when the large sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed.

How do I know if I have Sciatica?

Expecting mothers can experience burning, tingling, numbness or weakness that originates in the lower back and travels through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Typically sciatica will occur in one leg, and can result in sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk. Most would assume that sitting down, or lying down, will provide relief from the pain – but in fact, the pain caused by sciatica can be worse when sitting down. Symptoms can be infrequent and irritating, or can even be constant and cause you to lose normal function of your body.

How do I find relief from back pain and sciatica?

Physical therapy can relieve the back and sciatic pain experienced during pregnancy in only a few sessions. Treatment typically includes two sessions a week for 2-3 weeks. Your physical therapist will also educate you on various stretches and exercises you can do at home to help alleviate pain and discomfort. With hands-on soft tissue work and various modalities, experienced physical therapists can help you enjoy this joyous time of your life, rather than suffer through it.

Are you experiencing back pain or sciatica during pregnancy? Contact us now. Our physical therapists are experienced in working with expecting mothers to relieve pain and get back to enjoying the miracle of pregnancy.

growing pains

The Truth About Growing Pains

Does your child really have “growing pains?”

The truth is, there is no proof that growing bones can cause pain in your child’s legs. However, there are too many children between the ages of 3 to 16 that complain of leg pain for it to be ignored.

Growing pains occur in around 25 percent to 40 percent of all children. It is most often seen between the ages of 3 to 5 and then again between 8 to 12 years of age, but children of any age can experience growing pains prior to a growth spurt.

The pain that your child can experience with growing pains will more than likely be in the front of their thighs, in their calves or behind their knees. The joints do not hurt. Leg pains are usually felt more at night or evening just about bedtime. The pain is not felt every day and the intensity varies from one child to the next. Some children have severe pain at night that does wake them from sleep, while others do not. Pains brought on from growing, like other illnesses, can affect each child differently as to the exact location of the pain and the intensity.

These leg pains are normally stronger after your child is physically active and your doctor may advise you to give him something for the pain such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Some other ways to help your child when growing pains occur include: massaging the area, having them stand up and stretch (try these kids’ yoga poses) or use a heating pad. Another home remedy is to use a moist towel warmed in the microwave.

 

If you notice that the joints are swollen or red then visit a doctor or physical therapist to help you figure out the problem! There are not physical signs of growing pains and growing pains do not have any type of distinguishing symptoms other than pain in the legs. Your child will not run a fever or hurt any place else besides the ones mentioned above. If you notice other symptoms such as fever, or red and swollen joints, then this could be something more serious.

If you’re worried that your child’s knee pain could be something worse than just growing pains, come see one of our experienced physical therapists.

pain

5 Simple Habits That May Lead To Pain Or Injury

Have you ever heard of “The Compound Effect”? The idea that simple habits repeated over time will eventually lead to a certain outcome. Take working out, for example. You might not see the results of your sweat session over night, but if repeated over time you will begin to see dramatic results. Sadly, the compound effect also applies to negative habits.

Here are a few simple habits you need to be aware of that may eventually lead to pain or injury:

  1.     Too much time spent on phones or tablets –

Texting or looking down at your mobile device for any length of time puts excessive strain on your neck. This habit is especially harmful for kids; too much phone or tablet time has shown to result in altered biomechanical and structural differences with the growth of the spine. Some immediate effects include hand and neck pain. It is important to be conscious of posture when using these devices, try raising your devices to eye level and limit the amount of time spent on them.

  1.     Improper sleeping habits –

We have all woken up at one time or another with some sort of pain in our neck, shoulder or back. If this continues to happen multiple nights in a row, it may be a good idea to try out some other sleeping positions or pillow options. There are many pillow options for comfort and support; it may take a bit of trial and error to find what works best for you. The general rule is that it is best to use a pillow that keeps your cervical spine in neutral alignment. It is worth taking the time to find what works best for you. Sleeping on your back is the best position to allow your entire spine to rest.

  1.     Habit of carrying a purse or backpack that is too heavy –

The most common mistake is consistently carrying a heavy purse or briefcase on one side of the body, it is easy to get in the habit of using your dominant arm but if you must carry a heavy bag make sure to at least alternate arms. The uneven load can cause your shoulders to become uneven and eventually strain your neck muscles. This is not a new bad habit; men and women have been struggling with this issue for quite some time. Here is some great info on the possible negative effects of this habit and ways to help fix it.

  1.     Wearing the wrong shoe size –

Wearing the wrong shoe size can lead to injury, but the problem is most people don’t realize they are wearing the wrong shoe size. While you might typically wear size 8, your running or hiking shoe should typically be ½ sized to a whole size bigger; same with dress shoes, the shoe shouldn’t fit too snug. Speciality running stores like Road Runner Sports and Sole Sports are great options for helping you make sure your athletic shoes are a good fit.

  1.     Improper vision prescription or over use of LED lights –

Poor vision caused by improper prescription or over use of LED lights is an easily overlooked habit that can lead to serious pain. This habit can cause the development of forward head posture due to squinting and leaning forward to view a computer screen or mobile device screen. Forward head posture not only leads to possible pain, but also has shown to be a reason for many injuries, new and chronic.

If you are currently experiencing any pain as a result of these bad habits, make an appointment with us today! Let us help you get back to feeling your best.

 

Love Your Joints

Five Easy Ways To Love Your Joints

It’s Valentine’s Day, which means the topic on everyone’s mind is love and relationships! So what better time to talk about the most important relationship you will ever have, which is the relationship you have with your own body. You only have one body for your entire life, so it is extra important to learn how to give it the love and support it needs. 

Here are 5 easy ways to show your joints the love they deserve:

Cut the Caffeine –

We all need that extra boost of energy once in awhile, but do your best to avoid that second and third cup of coffee. Studies have shown that extra caffeine can weaken your bones and cause joint pain. There are also plenty of other reasons to cut the caffeine!

Start Taking Yoga Classes –

Yoga has been a popular trend for thousands of years, and for good reason! It is a low impact exercise that is easy on the joints; while exercises like kickboxing, step aerobics and more can be hard on the joints. Yoga allows you to strengthen your body and your mind, and put your joint pain at ease.

Consume More Calcium –

A diet rich in calcium is key to keeping your bones healthy and strong, and can lower your risk of osteoporosis.  Milk, yogurt, kale, figs, salmon or calcium supplements are all great sources of calcium.

Choose Function Over Fashion –

These beautiful high heels may seem like a good idea right now, but unless they are an absolute necessity, your joints will love you for choosing shoes that don’t just look good but work well too. Shoes should be flexible, supportive and allow your toes to move around in order to help minimize or eliminate joint pain

Schedule An Appointment With Your Healthcare Provider –

Request an examination of your joints from head to toe, then ask for more tips on protecting your joints from daily wear and tear. It is never too early to start showing your joints the love they deserve by learning self-management or prevention techniques.

Are you already experiencing joint pain? Schedule an appointment at Contact Physical Therapy to have one of our physical therapists or hand therapists evaluate your joint pain and help you get back to living the life you love.

new years resolution

Actually Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution This Year!

It’s officially 2017, and we all know that means. Small talk has shifted from the weather to New Year’s Resolutions. If you are one of the many people who tells themselves they’re going to get fit, lose weight or exercise more, we’re here to help!

The reason why many resolutions aren’t fulfilled is because when we say “I’m going to get in shape,” that’s an abstract concept. What does that mean? Are you going to lose weight, do you want to be able to run a 5K without stopping? When we attach numbers to our goals, they become tangible, and more importantly, achievable.

To help you with your fitness related New Year’s Resolution, we are going to provide you with the knowledge you need to set realistic objectives, and a regimen to really obtain them.

How are we going to do this? With Body Composition Testing!

What Is Body Composition Testing?

Your Body Composition is the sum of your body fat, lean muscle, and total body water. Body Composition Testing can tell us what percentages of your body is fat, muscle, and water. It’s a much more accurate representation than the weight on the scale or your BMI. Scale weight does not define you, these numbers do.

To determine your Body Composition, electrodes will be attached to your hands and feet. They will send frequencies throughout your body, and will be able to determine your Body Composition. This is a non-invasive, pain-free test. The whole process takes just 6 minutes, and you’ll get your results immediately! And the best part, this test is only $49.

With this information, we can determine what is a safe amount of fat to lose, or how much muscle you should gain. You’ll have concrete numbers to base your New Year’s Resolution on. And we can even help you with diet and exercise recommendations to accomplish your goals based on the data collected.

Are you ready to finally achieve the New Year’s Resolution you set for yourself? We will be conducting these tests at our Mesa location on January 18th, 2017, and at the Scottsdale location on January 19th, 2017.

Spaces are limited so schedule your body composition testing today!