What Can Physical Therapy Do for Sciatica?
For those who suffer from sciatica, pain management is often a challenge. The trademark shooting pains through the back and legs are an unwelcome interruption upon your life, and it might seem like nothing you do is helping. Surgical solutions may be of interest to you, but there are also non-surgical methods that have a very good track record of improving the lives of sciatica patients. If you’ve ever been curious about the benefits of physical therapy for sciatica relief, here’s what you need to know.
A Matter of Nerves
Sciatica is a condition of back pain caused by problems with the sciatic nerve, the longest and widest nerve in the human body. It runs from the lumbar spine down into the lower legs, and any trauma or pressure upon the nerve can cause intense, shooting pain. With that in mind, you might be skeptical as to whether or not physical therapy for sciatica sufferers is a viable option. But fear not – while physical therapy is more commonly associated with rehabilitation for injuries of muscles and ligaments, it can also be beneficial to those dealing with nerve-based pain (neuralgia).
Sciatica Therapy In Motion
As with any condition, physical therapy for sciatica relief must be carefully tailored to a person’s limitations and recovery goals. A program of gentle exercises and stretches can eventually lead to a significantly lower amount of pain.
- Strengthening Exercises: Building a strong base around the spinal cord is crucial. Physical therapy for sciatica focuses not just on the lower back, but also on the gluteus, hips, and abdominal core muscles.
- Low-Impact Aerobics: Routine walks or sessions of aquatic exercise encourage cardiovascular health in a gentle environment, all while stimulating the natural transfer of fluids and nutrients. Yoga poses and tai chi are all beneficial for sciatica patients.
- Stretches: A regiment of stretches targeting areas of sciatica pain is highly recommended. The most important area is arguably the hamstrings, since pain tends to be highly concentrated in these muscle groups.
In addition to therapeutic techniques that require you to get up and move, a therapist may also recommend a passive technique to help with your pain management. A wide array of these passive options is available. Deep-tissue massages may be used to direct and release pressure throughout your soft tissues. Thermal remedies may also be applied – physical therapy for sciatica can often utilize heat or cold to increase or slow circulation, respectively. Muscle stimulation through technological means can also be relied upon to reduce spasms, whether by ultrasound or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).
As part of a diligently regulated pain management plan, physical therapy for sciatica issues can do wonders for your quality of life. At Biomotion, our sciatica experts are more than ready to field your questions, regardless of how long your symptoms have been troubling you. Are you ready to start taking control of your back pain instead of letting it control you? Contact us today, and we’ll get you started.