If you’ve ever had sciatica or sciatic back pain, you know it can be an unpleasant experience. However, there is excellent news: sciatica doesn’t need to keep you on the sidelines for long. With the proper treatment, such as physiotherapy, you can overcome sciatica pain faster and return to enjoying your life faster.
We won’t sugarcoat it– sciatica is no fun. It’s likewise not an uncommon condition. It involves pain that shoots from your spinal column down one of your legs (the “sciatic nerve” runs through your spine and branches out through your hips). If you have sciatica and want to get back to health as soon as possible, continue reading our guide to handling sciatica utilizing physio strategies.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica describes pain that comes from your spine and radiates down one of your legs. It’s normally triggered by pressure on or irritation of your sciatic nerve.
Typically, an issue in the lower back– such as a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease– can trigger the sciatic nerve to end up being irritated and send pain down the back of one leg. You can experience sciatica on one or both sides of your body. If you have sciatica, you may experience any of the following signs:
- Pain in your back that shoots down your leg
- Pain in the back of one or both legs
- Weakness or numbness in one or both legs
- Tingling, burning, or cramping in one or both legs
- Feeling as though your sciatica is becoming worse
What does sciatica present as?
There are various types of pain you can experience with sciatica. The most common type of discomfort radiates from your back and results in dull leg pain. You can likewise experience sharp pains, burning sensations, and stabbing discomforts. It can also feel like an electric shock or jolt, and sometimes becomes excruciating for the patient.
Common conditions and reasons resulting in sciatic pain
- Lumbar radiculopathy
- Bone spurs
- Muscle tension
- Poor muscle coordination
- Core weakness
- Sudden trauma
- Muscle weakness
- Lumbar disc herniation
- Repetitive straining motions
- Muscle spasms
- Poor muscle strength
How is sciatica treated with physiotherapy?
Most importantly, you need to rest. You should, as much as possible, get rid of anything that’s putting strain on your sciatic nerve, providing it time to recover. This might imply going on short-term disability or taking a temporary leave from work. You can likewise use heat or cold packs to relieve your pain.
Your physio can suggest the most effective type of treatment for your sciatica.
One treatment your physiotherapist might use is manual therapy for directional movement — utilizing their hands for manual manipulation of your tissues or joints, thereby eliminating pressure on the nerve.
A 2nd possible treatment is physical exercise. Your physiotherapist might recommend workouts that strengthen the muscles around your spinal column and hips, decreasing your pain and allowing your condition to improve more quickly.
Common Exercises for Sciatica
First, let’s look at what workouts are beneficial for sciatica. Exercises that strengthen the muscles around your spinal column are effective. Your physiotherapist may encourage exercises such as yoga, crunches, core exercises, corrective exercises, aquatic exercises, and back stretches, etc.
While exercise can help reduce your short-term pain, it is most productive when integrated with other treatments, such as heat therapy or cold treatment. Exercising can serve to help get you moving and feeling better quicker, but they’re not a long-term remedy.
If you have serious sciatica, working out might not be your best alternative immediately. Start with gentle exercises. As your signs and symptoms diminish, you can gradually increase the intensity of your exercises. Make certain to speak with your physiotherapist about the right workouts to treat your issue.
Other treatment options for sciatica from a physiotherapist
Your physiotherapist may likewise suggest other treatments, such as:
TENS Treatment – This electrical unit produces small electrical impulses to the afflicted local area to energize your nerves and decrease pain.
Acupuncture – This traditional treatment entails placing incredibly tiny needles in your skin at particular points to reduce discomfort and inflammation.
The Bottom Line
Whatever treatment technique you select, sciatica can take a toll on your body and your emotions. It can be challenging to remain positive when you’re in pain, however, research reveals that remaining positive is one of the very best methods to accelerate your healing! When you’re coping with sciatica, you have to find ways to manage your pain in the short-term, while likewise making certain you’re moving in the right direction to improve for the long term. Keep the pointers in this post in mind when handling sciatica to ensure you maximize your treatment and return to healthy living as soon as possible.
Call Miller Health in Orillia today and we can begin alleviating your sciatica pain!