Physiotherapy for Sciatica

How Physiotherapy can help with your sciatica pain and discomfort?

First off, what is Sciatica ?

Sciatica is a condition which Physiotherapy has success treating. Because sciatica is a common occurrence for people experiencing lower back pain, we as Physiotherapists therefore see a lot of patients coming in complaining of “Sciatica” . The term Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg”.

The distribution of the sciatic nerve and the common area where pain is felt. Physiotherapists are trained to identify the cause and treat sciatica.

What are the causes of Sciatica that Physiotherapy can assist with?

– Injury to the lumbar disc

– Herniation of the lumbar disc

– Direct damage to the lumbar nerve

– Arthritis in the joints

– Stiffness of the joints

– Stenosis (Narrowing of the spinal canal where the nerve runs)

– Movement of the lumbar vertebra (lumbar stenosis)

– Changes to the sacroiliac joint

The Sciatic nerve in an anatomical representation that a physiotherapist might use to explain to you why you are experiencing pain and to educate you on the condition.

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica which a Physiotherapist will ask you about?

The affects caused by sciatic, will often mean you experience the sensation of discomfort down your leg, resulting in you seeking help from a physiotherapist. The symptoms of sciatica are often broad, therefore they can be different between those experiencing them. The common symptoms for sciatica and thus one seeking help are:

– Pain or discomfort running that runs down the back of the thigh/buttocks, and sometimes all the way down the back of the calf.

– There can be a decreased amount of power in the leg, therefore resulting in reduced strength of the leg

– The type of pain can vary, which can mean a sharp pain, a dull ache or a burning sensation

– You might experience numbness and tingling down the leg and into the foot

Physiotherapy management and treatment of lower back pain that can contribute to decreasing the feelings of sciatica.

How Physiotherapy can help in the treatment of Sciatica symptoms:

The Physios at our practice in Sunninghill (Sandton) who are trained to accurately diagnose and assesses are able to therefore successfully manage patients that present with Sciatica.

To start with the treatment of your sciatica, a physio would take a full history and complete an assessment of you in order to fully understand the cause that would be causing your discomfort, thus guiding us in our treatment plan.

Secondly, the physio will plan a treatment in order to decrease the sciatica pain, educate you on the cause, and most importantly to provide strategies to correct what we might find to be wrong during the physical and subjective examination, resulting in increased function and decreased levels of discomfort.

Using evidence based therapies, in order to allow for the most appropriate care, some of our Physiotherapy treatments for Sciatica involve the following:

– Postural correction in order to allow for better loading onto the back and lower body

– Education from the physiotherapist, therefore promoting knowledge about the problem and the methods used to treat it

– Soft tissue release to improve on muscle length, circulation and thus decreasing pain

– Spinal joint mobilization, this helps to increase mobility, together with reducing the sensation of pain and discomfort

– Mobilization of the neural tissue, therefore to guide movement of the nerve, in order to allow the nerve to glide more smoothly within the surrounding joints

– Correcting the posture and ergonomics to aid in decreasing the potential factors which could be influencing the onset of the discomfort.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *