If you have suffered from sciatica, then you will be pleased to know that there are treatments available. Physiotherapy treatments can help you recover faster and return to your normal life sooner.
With no false optimism, sciatica is never a nice thing to experience. Additionally, it is not an unusual condition. People who have it often feel pain shooting from their spinal column down either one or both legs due to the sciatic nerve running through their spinal column and extending out through their hips. Read our guide below on how to handle sciatica using physical therapy techniques and get back to a normal life.
An Overview of Sciatica
Sciatica is a condition marked by radiating pain in one leg, stemming from pressure or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and sciatic pain is truly unbearable.
The main cause of sciatica is a problem in the lower back, such as a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease. Signs can include discomfort that radiates down one or both legs and may be experienced on either side of the body.
Symptoms of sciatica include:
- Sciatic pain (radiates from your back to your leg).
- Pain or discomfort in the lower back area of one or both legs.
- Experiencing weakness or tingling in your legs.
- A feeling of tingling, burning or cramping in either leg.
- Experiencing more pain than usual after basic movements.
What Does Sciatica Feel Like?
You can experience a variety of leg pains with sciatica, the most usual being a dull ache that radiates along your leg. Additionally, there could be sensations of sharp pains, burning, and stabbing. An electrical shock or jolt feeling is also possible and can cause a lot of agony.
What Kind of Physiotherapy Is Used To Treat Sciatica?
Receiving treatment in the early stages of sciatica is beneficial for your recovery. Furthermore, temporarily removing aggravating activities that may be causing pressure on the sciatic nerve will give it a chance to heal. In more severe cases, this could mean taking short-term disability or having a leave of absence from work. Those who seek treatment early on are more likely to avoid this unwanted absence from work and decrease in daily function. Also, using warm or cold packs can help reduce discomfort.
Your physical therapist can suggest the best kind of treatment for your sciatica.
One treatment your physiotherapist may utilize is manual therapy- using their hands to move and manipulate your tissues and joints, thereby eliminating stress on the nerve.
In addition to other treatments, physical exercise can help alleviate symptoms. Your physiotherapist may prescribe exercises that work the muscles around your spine and hips, for pain relief and quick recovery.
Workouts for Sciatica
To start, we'll look at what exercises are best for dealing with sciatica. Strengthening the muscles that surround your spine can be beneficial. Your physio may recommend yoga, core exercises and back stretches as part of a regimen.
Although exercises can ease leg pain, they are one part of the solution. The best way to get lasting relief is to incorporate things like manual therapy, and stress reduction techniques which may include a referral to psychotherapy with exercise for the best results.
If your sciatica is severe, aggressive physical exercise may not be a good idea. Begin by doing some gentle stretches. As the intensity of your symptoms subsides, you can steadily up the intensity of your exercises. Consult with a physiotherapist to learn which workouts are best for addressing your condition.
Other Treatments for Sciatica
Your physiotherapist might also suggest other treatments, such as:
Acupuncture - This more traditional treatment involves inserting small needles in your skin at specific points to minimize discomfort and swelling.
Psychotherapy - A registered psychotherapist can help address any negative mental health patterns that exist that are contributing to tension in your body, thereby relieving the pressure, inflammation, and pain cycle.
When dealing with sciatica, it can be difficult to keep a positive outlook while in severe pain. However, research confirms that being positive will help you recover sooner!
Regardless of the treatment option you choose, sciatica can take its toll on both your body and your mental health. Thus, it's important to find ways to manage discomfort at the moment, as well as build a path for lasting improvement. Remember the tips from this article as you work through sciatica for maximum benefit and get back to living life without delay.
Call Body Science Therapy today and we can begin eliminating your sciatica pain!