Zenith Performance Physical Therapy

Back Pain/Sciatica in Long Beach

Finding Relief from Back Pain and Sciatica in Long Beach

If you’re an athlete or former athlete eager to return to an active lifestyle, nagging back pain and sciatica can stand in your way. But you don’t have to just “live with it.” Customized physical therapy at Zenith Performance Physical Therapy can help you finally find relief.

Understanding Back Pain and Sciatica in Long Beach

Back pain affects up to 80% of adults at some point in their lives. It encompasses a spectrum of symptoms, ranging from dull muscle aches to sharp, shooting pangs. For some, back pain remains mild and intermittent. But for others, it severely impacts daily life. Sciatica often goes hand-in-hand with back pain. This distinct condition involves irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, through the hips and buttocks, and down each leg. Sciatic nerve pain tends to radiate along the path of the nerve, causing symptoms like:

  • Numbness or muscle weakness in the leg or foot
  • Tingling pins-and-needles sensations
  • Difficulty moving the leg
  • Sharp pain in the hip, buttocks, and back of thigh

If you’re suffering from back pain or sciatica, you certainly don’t need to just “learn to live with it.” Zenith Performance Physical Therapy’s physical therapists use a combination of treatments tailored to your specific needs. We aim to relieve your pain, restore mobility, help you prevent future flare-ups, and get you back to pursuing athletic activities pain-free.

Customized Treatments for Lasting Back Pain Relief

Our expert physical therapists design personalized treatment plans encompassing pain relief techniques, therapeutic exercises, and lifestyle changes to address the root causes of your back and nerve pain.

1. Pain Management and Improved Function
We utilize a variety of hands-on manual therapy techniques and modalities to alleviate muscle tension and soothe pain. As your pain subsides, specific stretches and strengthening exercises improve stability, flexibility, posture, and mobility – getting you functioning better day-to-day.

2. Manual Therapy

  • Massage: Relaxes tight muscles contributing to back pain. Our therapists use techniques like myofascial release, trigger point therapy, and Swedish massage tailored to your needs.
  • Joint mobilizations: Gentle, hands-on techniques that restore alignment and mobility of the spinal joints and hips.
  • Stretching and soft tissue release: Eases muscle tension through assisted stretching and techniques like self-myofascial release with foam rollers or therapy balls.

3. Therapeutic Exercises

  • Strengthening: Improves stability and support for the spine, and prevents injury recurrence. Targets core muscles, glutes, and hip flexors.
  • Stretching: Releases tight muscles pulling on vertebrae and nerves. Focuses on hamstrings, hips, and calves.
  • Postural exercises: Corrects muscle imbalances that contribute to poor spinal alignment. Fixes tendencies to slouch or “hunch.”

4. Modalities for Pain Relief

  • Heat and ice therapy: Increases blood flow and relaxes muscles (heat), or reduces inflammation (ice).
  • TENS: Mild electrical stimulation interrupts pain signals.
  • Ultrasound: Uses sound waves to warm tissues and stimulate healing.

Addressing Underlying Causes of Back Pain and Sciatica

Rather than just masking symptoms with pain medication, our experts address the root lifestyle, postural, and biomechanical causes of back and nerve pain tailoring treatment to each patient’s needs.

1. Posture Correction and Education
Poor posture stresses the back. Our therapists identify your postural deficits and provide personalized corrections through targeted exercises, hands-on adjustments, and actionable education on proper ergonomics for daily activities.

2. Core and Lumbar Strengthening
Weak core muscles increase strain on the back. Our experts design programs to improve strength and stability from your shoulders to your glutes so you can stay strong and resilient through all your moves.

3. Balance and Coordination Training
For athletes, better balance and coordination enhances performance and prevents pain-provoking falls and overuse injuries. It also makes daily activities easier on the back. Customized skill drills hone these motor skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I avoid doing when I have sciatic nerve pain?

  • Avoid stretching hamstrings—it can worsen nerve tension. Avoid prolonged sitting or activities that aggravate pain. Don’t sleep on your stomach—it twists the lower spine. Use heat cautiously—inflamed nerves may be ultrasensitive. Still, some warmth may relieve muscle tension. Communicate with your therapist about specific do’s and don’ts tailored to your situation.

How long does it take for sciatica and back pain to go away?
For mild cases, sciatica may resolve with rest in a few weeks. Moderate to severe cases often persist unless properly treated and can recur if underlying causes aren’t addressed. Our customized physical therapy programs aim to relieve pain quickly while also treating root causes to achieve lasting relief and prevention. On average, patients attend therapy 1-2 times per week for 4-8 weeks. But your specific case and needs determine treatment duration.

When should I rest vs. exercise with sciatica?
Initially, rest helps calm acute sciatic flare-ups along with ice, pain relievers, and gentle stretches. Your therapist will guide you in finding the right rest-exercise balance. Movement is vital for recovery but should be paced so as not to re-aggravate irritated nerves. As pain settles, your program will progressively incorporate more strengthening, mobility, balance, and coordination exercises tailored to your improving abilities.

Meet Your Healthcare Team

Our distinguished physical therapists have advanced orthopedic and sports medicine specialties with decades of combined experience successfully treating sciatica and back pain. We stay current on evidence-based practices through continuing education and craft personalized programs focused on tangible improvements in your pain, strength, flexibility and function. Our goal? To get you confidently and comfortably back to the active lifestyle you love.

Dr. Hayden Almeida, a licensed physical therapist
With years of experience, Dr. Hayden Almeida leads our orthopedic rehabilitation programs. Their expertise encompasses complex spine and nerve conditions, sports injuries, post-operative recovery, and chronic pain management. Patients praise Dr. Hayden Almeida’s terrific bedside manner blending compassion, encouragement, and accountability as he guides them toward their goals.

Start Your Path to Pain Relief Today

If back pain or sciatica has you sidelined, our team’s ready to help get you moving confidently again. Call 562-502-1767 or book your consultation online to get expert physical therapy tailored to your needs. Regain comfort, strength, and function – we’re here to make it happen!

About The Author

Dr. Hayden Almeida is a licensed physical therpist. With years of experience in the field, Dr. Hayden Almeida has dedicated their career to helping patients achieve their maximum physical potential and improve their quality of life. Currently practicing at Zenith Performance Physical Therapy in Long Beach, Dr. Hayden Almeida employs a patient-centered approach, combining cutting-edge techniques and personalized care plans to address a wide range of physical conditions.

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Eric Santamaria

Dr Thomas has been fantastic with helping me correct months of foot pain that was making it hard to exercise! He’s done thorough assessments, made expert recommendations, and given me helpful homework. My feet are much more flexible and strong, so I’m getting back to my favorite workouts 💪 Their facility is spacious, clean, and has all the equipment to get you moving again! And it’s super convenient for folks living downtown or in Belmont.

Sergio Quijano

I started working with Thomas at Zenith Performance when I picked up an injury that was still painful after a couple months. Thomas told me at my first visit that the goal was not just to get back to where I was before I got injured, but to strengthen the area enough so I can avoid the same injury reoccurring. He put together a game plan for me and I noticed improvement within the first couple weeks. I highly recommend Thomas and the team at Zenith. He had me back in the gym performing even better than I was pre-injury in no time.

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