Physical therapy holds the key to pain relief.
Our bodies are composed of a complex network of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve you’ve got in your body. It extends from the lumbar spine through the buttocks area, and if there is unnecessary pressure applied to it, it can cause a world of problems for you!
Are you living with this condition? Physical therapy at Good Hands Physical Therapy in Bridgewater Township, NJ could provide you with the relief you’ve been searching for.
Request an appointment with our Bridgewater Township, NJ physical therapists today, and watch the world of pain-free living unfold before your eyes!
What is sciatica?
Sciatica, also known as “lumbar radiculopathy,” is a very painful condition that results from irritation of the sciatic nerve. This pain is typically felt in the lumbar area and behind the thigh. It’s also a common complaint of individuals suffering from sciatica that they feel the pain radiating well into the lower limbs.
Sciatica can make bending, walking, and exercising painfully difficult. The most common cause of sciatica is lumbar disc herniation, but it can also be caused by a back injury and disc degeneration.
How is sciatica diagnosed and treated?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg.”
Sciatica is typically diagnosed with questions regarding your medical history, alongside a physical exam. Many physical therapists may also have a CT scan, or MRI performed to locate the root cause of sciatica.
Move Forward PT states, “Conservative care like physical therapy often results in better and faster results than surgery or pain medication.” Physical therapy is safe, natural, and most importantly, an effective method of treatment for people dealing with sciatica pain!
A physical therapist will work with you to:
- Reduce your pain.
- Increase your strength and range of motion
- Educate you on how to stand, bend and twist properly to prevent future injuries
- Improve your flexibility.
- Help you return to normal activities.
Physical therapists have licensed movement specialists who can teach you targeted stretching exercises for pain relief, many of which you can do at home!
Stretches for sciatica pain relief
To alleviate the pain and symptoms of sciatica, a physical therapist will often employ a variety of techniques. Active therapies, passive treatments, aquatic treatments, and other options are available.
If your physical therapist discovers any weak muscles in your core, you will be given adequate corrective exercises to strengthen them. These exercises target not just the lower back muscles but also the abdominal muscles, hip muscles, and glutes.
All of these exercises help strengthen the spinal column, including the tendons, ligaments, and supporting muscles, while keeping the spine in proper alignment.
The stretching exercises that your physical therapy will show you are meant to target inflexible and tight muscles. Hamstring stretching is a common and important part of a physical therapy treatment program to alleviate sciatica. An aquatic exercise program may also be recommended by a physical therapist. You can do exercises easily with the buoyancy of water.
Types of helpful physical therapy treatment
Passive therapy may include massage, electric, heat, or ultrasound therapy. These different kinds of treatment can help reduce pain, stimulate proper blood circulation, and speed up the healing process.
Active therapy includes exercises, specific motions, and stretches meant to speed up the healing process and provide pain relief. Your physical therapist will educate you on the different stretches and exercises you can do at home for pain relief.
Although most people identify the word “ultrasound” with pregnant patients, those aren’t the only people this technique benefits! Ultrasound therapy relieves pain by transmitting relaxing sound waves deep into the tissues.
Electrotherapy uses electricity to strengthen muscles, reduce pain, increase circulation and improve physical function.
Massage therapy helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain. It loosens tight back muscles that may be pressing on the sciatic nerve, increasing the release of endorphins for pain relief. Heat therapy helps relax muscles and reduce inflammation.
Could physical therapy be the answer to sciatica pain?
Physical therapy for sciatica is a non-invasive, effective, and safe treatment method that focuses on finding and eliminating the source of your discomfort. A physical therapist will design a treatment plan that is unique to you and your needs!
Your physical therapist will assist you in learning how to prevent sciatica and other problems in the future by giving you at-home exercises for maintenance. You can prevent sciatica from reoccurring by maintaining good posture, proper body mechanics, and being in good shape!
If you or a loved one is suffering from sciatica, give our office a call for your personalized consultation with one of our physical therapists. A comprehensive exam will be performed, and your physical therapist will make sure you’re back up on your feet in no time at all.
Call us today; what are you waiting for?
Sciatica pain can change your life in a negative way, but with the help of a physical therapist, you can regain control. There is no reason for you to settle for a life filled with chronic pain symptoms from this condition.
You’re just a phone call away from living a pain-free life. Our therapists are waiting for you to reach out!