Water has physical properties that can help with physical rehabilitation, fitness, and relaxation. Aquatic therapy takes advantage of these benefits. Most notably, the buoyancy of water can make rehabilitation and fitness workouts more pleasant and offers unique benefits that workouts outside of the water may not provide.The reported benefits of aquatic therapy (and reasons many…
Sciatica Pain Treatment from a Physical Therapy Clinic
Physical therapy can help to alleviate the pain caused by sciatica. It is a condition that is caused by a person’s sciatic nerve being pinched. The sciatic nerve begins at the lower back and runs down both legs. People who have been diagnosed with sciatica often experience shooting pain that runs down one of their legs.
Fortunately, sciatica can be treated with physical therapy, which is a preferred solution to having to undergo a surgical treatment. Treating sciatica patients with therapy alleviates pain and strengthens their body in the long run.
Treating sciatica with physical therapy
The most common symptom of sciatica is lower back pain that radiates down one of the legs. The pain rarely affects both legs simultaneously. Simple things like coughing, sneezing, or sitting down for extended periods can activate the pain caused by sciatica.
In some cases, sciatica can lead to a person’s leg feeling weak or numb. The pain caused by the condition can come out of nowhere, and it can last for weeks. The sciatic nerve being pinched is what causes the pain and discomfort.
People are more likely to develop sciatica around the ages of 30 to 50. It can also be caused by a pregnancy putting excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve and spinal arthritis.
Physical therapy aims to treat sciatica by:
- Providing relief from the symptoms
- Aiming to treat the underlying cause of the patient’s condition
- Preventing future flareups
A physical therapist aims to treat sciatica with modalities that can help to manage pain and inflammation, manual manipulation, and physical exercise and rehabilitation. This approach to treating sciatica helps to mobilize and strengthen tissues in the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, pelvis, and lower back. The treatments provided aim to:
- Reduce leg, thigh, and lower back pain
- Restore pain-free functional movements
- Alleviate muscle spasms
- Improve the lower body’s mobility and flexibility
- Restore the function of the sacroiliac joint and lumbar spine
- Promote healing of the lower back
- Promote neurological adaptations the reduce pain
Commitment and frequency are essential for the best outcomes when treating sciatica with physical exercise and therapy. This approach can also be combined with the use of prescription or over-the-counter medication. Epidural steroid injections can also help to deal with the pain caused by sciatica.
Examples of exercises used to treat sciatica include:
- Extension and flexion back exercises: These help to alleviate pain by encouraging the proper movement of the spine. People with sciatica often get relief from directional movements of their spines. A physical therapist can evaluate a patient’s directional preferences and recommend appropriate directional exercises. These include exercises like forward and backward bending
- Strengthening: This includes resistance and bodyweight exercises that are used to strengthen muscles in the legs, hips, abdomen, and lower back
- Isometric exercises: These are used to contract muscles around joints without moving the latter. Examples of isometric exercises that can be used to manage sciatica include bridge holds and planks
Get relief from sciatica
Dealing with lower back pain that shoots down your leg? You might have sciatica. Call or stop by our Richmond clinic to schedule an appointment with our physical therapist.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Physical Therapy in Richmond, TX.
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