Back Pain and Sciatica

Wendy H.

I am very grateful for Dr. Nestor’s knowledge. He stopped me from having to have rotator cuff surgery as I was having severe shoulder pain from an injury. Dr. Nestor and Dave have also worked on strengthening my ongoing lower back issues. They are so knowledgeable and helpful in the recovery process. They have given me such great tools for the future. Abby is also very helpful and friendly. Highly recommend this practice!

Ronald P.

I had back and leg pain for about 18 months. I tried acupuncture, chiropractic, band and aquatic therapy, injections, and prescription medications, with little or no success. I was always overactive, and the pain prohibited my normal activities. I went the free workshop held by Steve Nestor and decided to give it a shot. It’s the best I’ve felt in all this time! Now that I have the tools for success, I feel that I can continue in my journey to wellness.

Kathleen C.

Before coming to Nestor, I was getting frequent headaches. I was also experiencing mild neck pain and had soreness in my lower back area. Dr. Nestor gave me a variety of different exercises and really catered to my abilities. If something was too difficult or too easy, he would make adjustments to fit my needs. After a few weeks, my headaches were gone! I had better range of motion in my neck and less pain in my lower back. Day-to-day activities became easier and I was able to engage in sports without difficulty. I recommend Dr. Nestor to anyone…he is great! Thanks Nestor PT!

James G.

I was having a lot of leg and lower back pain. After attending a free seminar and talking with Dr. Steve, I had an extensive evaluation. After 6 or 7 weeks of therapy, my sciatic nerve pain is gone and my flexibility has improved. Best of all, my golf game has improved! I am hitting the ball further and more consistently. I would definitely recommend Nestor PT to anyone.

Denis L.

I’ve had on and off back pain for the past year. Last March, I woke up with bad pain down my leg along with my back pain. The emergency room diagnosed it as sciatic nerve pain. Medication did not help nor did acupuncture. I responded to a workshop advertisement with Dr. Nestor and within a week he knew what was going on and we started a program.

Brenda G.

My experience here at Nestor PT was great. I have suffered from low back pain and leg pain for many years and I was giving up on ever feeling normal again. Thanks to Facebook and seeing Dr. Nestor’s post, I got my life back. I learned how to do exercising wherever I am - even while driving! The manual techniques really helped too. I used to need help in the morning when getting up from bed and now it’s all gone! Thanks Dr. Steve!

Gloria D.

Dr. Nestor worked on my back and exercises for my legs. A few visits later I felt pain relief. Today I am pain free, no walker, no cane also do not need any assist getting up from a chair, getting in and out of cars. Dr. Nestor thank you for all your help, I could not have done this without you!

Anne R.

By following your exercise worksheets, the pain in my back eased up. After several weeks of physical therapy, I can honestly say it worked for me. Thank you Dr. Steve for helping me with my lower back pain and giving me the confidence I needed to resume my daily activities.

Janine S.

I think he is an all around great guy. Very professional and really enjoys helping people. He truly knows what he is doing and helps you understand what is going on, with you as well as what he is doing to help. I would recommend going to Nestor Physical Therapy to anyone. He has helped me with my lower back pain. Thank you so much! You have magic hands!

Russell C.

I came to see Steve for my Sciatic nerve. I could not ride in car for more than 15 minutes without severe pain. He stretched me and gave me exercises to do and within a few weeks pain was virtually gone. I appreciate the time he has spent with me. I would highly recommend Steve to others. Thanks again.

Living with Back Pain or Sciatica? Physical Therapy Can Provide the Treatments You Need

Don’t Live with Back Pain – Find Relief with Physical Therapy!

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, back pain is the most commonly reported pain across the nation, and one out of every four Americans has experienced back pain in the past three months. At Nestor Physical Therapy, our North Smithfield  physical therapists will get to the root of the problem and provide long-lasting relief.

If you wake up in the morning with back pain or notice nagging aches in your back, buttock, or thighs, physical therapy in North Smithfield  can help you find relief.

While back pain and sciatica are similar, they still have their differences and are often confused with one another. Back pain is found specifically in the upper, middle or lower back. Sciatica is a more diffuse, radiating pain down the buttock, thigh, and even leg.

It is also possible to have radiculopathy, which is a radiating numbness, tingling, burning, or sharp pain to a specific part of the leg. This is often associated with a herniated disc, or entrapment of the nerve in that area, as it exits the spine.

If you are suffering from back pain or sciatica, don’t rely on medicines to help you mask the pain. In many cases, our treatments are even able to eliminate the need for harmful painkilling drugs, such as opioids, or an invasive surgical procedure. Request an appointment today!

Treating back pain and sciatica with physical therapy 

While back pain may come and go, it is always important to treat it right away. If not, it can lead to poor joint movement, core weakness, and poor muscle coordination, which can all lead to unwanted injuries in the future.

The early stages of your physical therapy treatment will focus on quick pain relief. Afterward, your physical therapist will expand your treatment to include strengthening your core muscle group with specific therapeutic exercises and stretches.

This helps improve your strength and range of motion to prevent re-injury of your spine. Our physical therapist will also provide you with ergonomic techniques for taking care of your spine during daily activities, such as sitting at a desk or driving.

For the treatment of sciatica, our physical therapists will implement specific stretches into your treatment plan to loosen the sciatic nerve. This restores the natural health of the nerve and quickly reduces symptoms.

Back pain and sciatica are both completely treatable through physical therapy. Our North Smithfield  physical therapists will create a specific treatment plan for you based upon your diagnosis.

Back pain vs sciatica – what’s the difference?

Back pain

“Back pain” is a term that can be caused by an array of different conditions. For example, you may experience back pain due to poor posture, a motor vehicle accident, or a lifting injury.  The treatment plan that our North Smithfield  physical therapist sets up for you, will depend on how you developed the back pain, in addition to its exact location and your past medical history.  Back pain can be described as acute, meaning it is short-term, or chronic, meaning it is long-term (typically lasting for three months or longer).


Sciatica is a specific type of back pain that is reported as being highly uncomfortable. However, it is also fortunately very simple to diagnose. People with sciatica experience pain along the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in your body. The sciatic nerve begins at your lower back and then splits at the base of your spine to extend further down to your buttocks, legs, and finally ends at the bottom of each foot. The sciatic nerve can become compressed or irritated, which causes a “shooting,” “stinging,” or “burning” sensation in your lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.

So, why am I experiencing back pain or sciatica?

General back pain typically develops as the result of an injury. This can be due to repetitive straining motions, such as leaning down multiple times throughout the day to pick up a toddler, or a more serious, sudden trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident.

Underlying conditions, such as herniated discs, can also cause immense pain, and cause radiculopathy pain to the thigh, leg, or foot. Degenerative disc disease is a common condition as we age, which can result in back pain. Those with this condition typically report dull, aching pains in their lower back, and have difficulty with prolonged standing or walking.

Sciatica’s technical name is “lumbar radiculopathy.” People who develop this condition are generally between the ages of 30 and 50. Many different types of injuries can cause the development of sciatica, including arthritis, bone spurs, or any other injury that impacts the sciatic nerve.

Most commonly, we find that people lose their flexibility in the hips and pelvis, which causes the gluteus and hip muscles to become tightened. This in turn, alters the mechanics of the spine, and compresses the sciatic nerve as it travels through these tissues.

Contact us to find relief!

If you are experiencing the symptoms of back pain or sciatica, find relief with Nestor Physical Therapy today.

Request your appointment to get started on the first steps toward recovery and living a comfortable life.