sciatica treatment by physical therapy

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is pain in leg, tingling, weakness or numbness produced by an irritation of the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve & affects the back of the leg. The sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back that go down through the buttock, and then its branches extend down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot. Sciatica is more of a description of the symptoms, rather than a back injury that is causing the pain (the diagnosis) – which can vary. Positive thing is we have achieved great success with proper sciatica treatment through physical therapy.


What are sciatica symptoms?

Symptoms of sciatica includes-

  • Pain that begins in low back or buttock and radiates down along the sciatic nerve distribution, leg and may move into your foot.
  • Weakness, tingling, numbness, aching or shooting in the leg may also occur.
  • Sitting, standing for a long time, and movements that cause the spine to flex may make symptoms worse.
  • Pain while walking, lying down, and movements that extend the spine may relieve symptoms.
  • Low back pain may be present as well, but patients typically complain that the leg pain is more severe in intensity than the low back pain.


How is sciatica diagnosed?

  • Medical history and physical exam.
  • X-ray
  • MRI


How physical therapy can relieve sciatica?

If your sciatica symptoms do not improve, your doctor may suggest physical therapy to treat your condition. The purpose of sciatica physical therapy is to address the underlying causes of the pain. The goal of physical therapy is to help a patient regain normal function that can often be lost as a result of sciatic nerve compression. This is usually accomplished through exercises that address weak supporting muscles, such as range of motion exercises, stretching exercises, heat massages and ultrasounds. A controlled and progressive exercise program is often prescribed by a physical therapist to decrease irritation of the nerve root and the sciatic nerve.
Exercise therapy plays a big part in relieving sciatic pain – in fact bed rest is the worst type of therapy for treating low back pain and sciatica. For without exercise and movement, back muscles will become even more de-conditioned and cause further pain. Active exercise is important for the health of spinal discs and vertebral segments and their joints. Movement of the spine allows for freedom of motion and promotion of vertebral flexibility. Sciatica treatment must include movement to help with circulation and nutrient exchange that help keep discs healthy and decrease inflammation.
The largest benefit from going to physical therapy for sciatic nerve pain has to do with properly diagnosing and treating the exact cause of it. Performing the wrong type of exercise or movement can worsen sciatic pain, so it is important to have your joints, muscles and spine analyzed by a physical therapist

At SOS PHYSIO your treatment in physical therapy will include Manual therapy & Active Release Techniques (ART) which are a critical part of the recovery. A coordinated effort between the patient, physician and physical  therapist is required. We at SOS PHYSIO ensure that we give our patients the highest quality of care, effective treatment and a rapid rehabilitation program.

For any questions, Please contact your local SOS PHYSIO clinic near you.



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