Sciatica is not a medical condition; however, it is a common term used for underlying medical conditions such as a hernia or degenerated disc or nerve root compression in the lumbar spine, which may cause radiating symptoms in the leg. Injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve will pain lower back and radiates down the leg.
The goal of the treatment in sciatica is to reduce the pain and increase mobility. Physical therapy (physiotherapy) and exercise are typically the first-line treatment for treating, relieving, and preventing sciatica symptoms.
To understand how physiotherapy helps in sciatica, keep reading.
Elimination of Sciatica via physiotherapy
While treating sciatica, physical therapy can: promote healing of the underlying cause, provide relief from the symptoms, and prevent flareups and recurrences.
Physical therapy can help in eliminating sciatica in the following ways:
- Reduction of nerve pain: In sciatica, people are often advised to do physical exercises, but it is too painful at times to begin with, it. Physiotherapy may help in such cases to relieve the pain. Techniques such as acupuncture or manual traction may help reduce the pain and get you moving.
- Boost core strength: Lower back injuries often cause sciatica in many people. Muscular strength is poor to support the spine while lifting or doing other activities. While standing or walking for extended periods, they often experience leg and lower back pain. Physiotherapy can target the muscles that support the spine to develop strength, ensuring improved mobility and reducing stress while standing and walking around.
- Elimination of spinal stiffness: In many people, injury to lumbar discs often results in sciatica. In such cases, the range of motion of the spine is restricted. After sitting for a prolonged period, such people find it difficult to stand up. Physiotherapy can use hands-on manual therapy and various other exercises that may help restore movement in the spine. Also, it helps in resolving leg pain.
- Improving mobility: Often in sciatica, the pain extends to the leg and may cause immobility. When the nerves with less mobility undergo excess traction, it makes them more sensitive, causing more pain. Physiotherapy (manual therapy and specific exercises) helps in the restoration of normal mobility in the nerves.
- Improving lifting: Poor lifting techniques often cause back injuries in people that trigger sciatica episodes. In sciatica, it becomes difficult to bend or lift objects. Physiotherapists can help to lift things properly. The exercises not only protect your back from further injury but also help to strengthen the vital muscles.
- Posture and lifestyle modification: A physiotherapist will help in correcting posture while sitting, standing, and walking, managing and preventing sciatica. A physiotherapist also helps in teaching ergonomically safe lifting techniques and good sleep postures, which helps manage sciatica.