Can physical therapy help sciatica?
Sciatica can be a sign of leg pain caused by a low back issue. The sciatic nerve starts at the lower back, and runs down to the buttock. It branches out to the foot via the back of your leg. The sciatic nerve can be symptomatic for many reasons. Sciatica symptoms can be caused by a herniated disc, narrowing or stenosis of the nerve, tightness of the hip or misalignment in the pelvis. Sciatica symptoms include burning, pain, tingling and cramping in the legs. Sciatica can also be treated by stretching, medication, and most importantly, physical therapy. Learn more about our treatments and specialists.
Why does physical therapy benefit people with sciatica?
It can reduce inflammation, pain, improve physical function, and help prevent the recurrence or occurrence of sciatica symptoms. Your physical therapy program can also teach you how to improve posture. It often includes a home exercise program for long-term improvement in your physical health.
A physical therapist will create a rehabilitation program that will reduce or eliminate pain, normalize body mechanics in order to relieve nerve compression, increase core muscle strength, improve muscle flexibility (yes, nerves), and optimize functional activity. A Home Exercise Program will be developed as a key part of the rehabilitation process.
Manual therapy and stretching may help reduce nerve compression caused by hip joint dysfunction, muscle spasms, and other factors. Sciatica pain can also be relieved by strengthening the spine and supporting tendons. Because they support the spine, and keep it aligned in the future, strong core muscles can reduce sciatica.
It is recommended to stretch and target tight or rigid muscles. Nerve stretching is important as the sciatic nerve is designed for free movement between muscles, fascia and other structures. Nerve stretching is often referred to by the terms “nerve flossing” or “nerve glides”, and is a crucial component of sciatica rehabilitation. Check out some of the ways we treat Sciatica here.
Low-impact aerobic exercise can also be helpful for sciatica. Aerobic activity encourages the exchange and nutrition of fluids to aid in recovery. Aerobic conditioning has been shown to increase endorphin levels, which are natural painkillers in the body.
The Objectives of Physical Therapy and Exercise for Sciatica Treatment in our area
Exercise and physical therapy can strengthen and mobilize the tissues of the lower back, pelvis and abdomen.
Physical therapy and exercise are used to treat symptoms and signs of sciatica.
- Pain-free functional movements
- Reduce lower back, buttocks and leg pain
- Reduce muscle spasms
- Restore lumbar spine function and sacroiliac joint function
- Mobility improvements for the lower body
- To create a healing environment for the lower back
- To reduce pain perception, promote neurological adaptations
- Reduce the fear of moving and prevent future pain flare-ups
For successful treatment of sciatica using physical therapy and exercise, commitment and frequency are key attributes. You can combine physical therapy with pain-relieving medications such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) and epidural steroids injections.
Do You Want Relief from Sciatica and Back Pain?
Fluid Health & Fitness is a specialist in sciatica and back pain relief. We are committed to providing the highest quality physical therapy and going above and beyond to help our patients in our area. Our experienced physical therapist will help you improve your function and alleviate your pain. The body is assessed as a whole. Sometimes the root cause of pain or injury is more than the area or muscle that hurts. We would do a disservice by not taking a complete look at you to fully help you heal and prevent future limitations. Then, we move on to addressing your limitations. All diagnoses are not the same. Low back pain can cause different limitations for each person. You need to tailor your recovery program to meet YOUR needs, not the generic exercise program you find online. It doesn’t matter if your pain is lessening or that you are able to walk longer, it does not mean that this will be enough to make you function at the level you desire. This can often mean that the PT clinic is done. However, we will continue to provide guidance until you reach your goals. Call us today to make an appointment.