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Dr. James Ruport, a physical therapist from Troutdale, answers the question: 'I took the meds they gave me, but a month later why has the pain grown worse?'

JAMES RUPORTOver the last few weeks, we've taken a closer look at how to diagnose and treat the most common causes of lower back pain and sciatica: bulging disks, degenerative changes and SI joint dysfunction. This week I want to tell you about a story I heard a couple weeks ago (and regrettably all too often.)

A new patient came a couple weeks ago and she was telling me the history of her injury. She hurt herself doing housework. It wasn't too bad, but it felt off and at this point the pain was localized in her back and pelvis.

Over the next couple of days it got worse so she saw her physician. The doctor prescribed her an anti-inflammatory without appropriate aftercare instructions.

My client took the meds, and her pain decreased, but she did not know about positions to minimize disk damage, how to strengthen the area or how to decompress the spine. So, sure enough, after her pills ran out she started to feel more and more stiff, and then came the sciatica.

This case of sciatica could have been prevented with proper care and instruction on tissue healing, well-timed movement and a progressive exercise plan.

I am not here to say that you shouldn't use medications. I respect my client's choice of medications, and I understand why medical doctors prescribe medicine.

I think medication can be used to make the rehab process more comfortable, but they likely won't solve the underlying problem on their own.

If you are like my many clients who would rather avoid medications, you should be given options to solve your problem. Working with a movement-based healthcare provider should be one of those options.

If you have been suffering with back pain or sciatica, have been given medications, and your problem has not resolved, don't assume that you are alone.

Even if you have seen a physical therapist and/or a chiropractor and they did not solve your problem, there is still hope.

I recently helped a young man get back to his regular life, healthier than he was before his injury and he had tried two rounds of PT, chiro, meds, injection, acupuncture and was referred to surgery before we started working together.

James Ruport is a doctor of physical therapy and is happy to answer questions you have about sciatica or his new Digital PT program. Send him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or visit his website for access to a free copy of his eBook on back pain and sciatica.


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