Sciatica is one of the most common health conditions that affect the people of all ages and it derails your life completely if you fail to seek the appropriate treatment to address the primary source of the pain. Sciatica is nothing but a pain that originates in your lower back and then travels all the way to your legs. To be more specific it’s a pain that occurs in sciatic nerve, which extends from lower back to legs.
Whenever you take treatment for this condition, it is imperative that your healthcare professionals focus on addressing its underlying cause, otherwise, you won’t be able to get the permanent solution for it. There are several causes of sciatica which include lumbar herniated disc, lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and piriformis syndrome. In addition to that, the pain in your sciatic nerve can also occur because of spinal tumor, fracture, infection, pregnancy, muscle strain, and scar tissue.
Therefore, the kind of treatment that you take for healing sciatica largely depends on its root cause.
Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of sciatica
- Lower back pain that affects your daily activities like bathing, meal preparation, cleaning, and gardening etc.
- Severe pain in the leg while sitting that makes it impossible for you to focus on anything
- Tingling sensation in the leg that create discomfort while sitting, walking or lying down
- Sever pain in the hip, which creates difficulties while sitting
What is really important for you to understand is this condition only affects one side of your lower back. And the side on which you feel pain largely depends on the part of the sciatic nerve that’s damaged for injured. Another important thing that deserves your attention is, not every one struggling with sciatica will experience the same amount of pain. Yes, some people struggling with this condition face sever severe pain constantly whereas others may experience infrequent episodes of dull pain.
So, if you are experiencing similar kind of pain it’s crucial that you take immediate treatment. A lot of people with sciatica live under the impression that they can deal with their pain by implementing home remedies, which is too impractical. Nothing can offer you relief until you consult a healthcare expert.
Most people with this condition visit a physician in the first place, who prescribes a relevant medicine to relieve the pain. However, if you want to take advantages of a drug-free and surgery-free treatment, then you must consult a physical therapist. They are well-trained in treating musculoskeletal conditions like sciatica, back pain, shoulder pain and knee ache etc., so you can easily rely on them.
Here’s is how a physical therapist treats Sciatica
When you visit a physical therapist for treating sciatica they use several important techniques to improve your condition. Both active physical therapy techniques and passive physical therapy techniques are used by therapists to address the primary source of Sciatica. Again the use of treatment techniques largely depends on how badly your sciatic nerve is affected.
Active Physical Therapy Techniques
Active physical therapy techniques that are used for healing this condition include spinal stabilization, core strengthening exercises, and manual therapy etc. For example, if you talk particularly about manual therapy, it’s a pain relief technique wherein advanced hands-on movements are used by physical therapists to diagnose the problem and to heal it.
Passive Physical Therapy
The passive physical therapy techniques include cold laser therapy, ice therapy, and electrical muscle stimulation. Whether you talk about active physical therapy techniques or passive physical therapy techniques, they offer enormous relief from pain and also help in accelerating the natural healing mechanism of the body.
It means if you get yourself treated by physical therapist you do not have to take the support of drugs and surgeries.
According to First Choice Medical Group Physical Therapy,”The goal of physical therapists is to help manage and eliminate pain from sciatica, improve flexibility, improve range of motion and restore the patient back to normal function.”
When you meet your physical therapist for the first time, they try to check your condition by carrying out several physical exams. In short, they try to test your range of motion ( to identify the severity of your condition ) for which they ask you to perform various physical activities. And once they identify the actual source of your pain and its intensity, they will design a care plan that can address your problem effectively.
Depending on the severity of your pain they will include the relevant techniques in your care plan, for example, they may include massage therapy, manual therapy or heat and cold therapy in your treatment plan to subside your pain and to accelerate the natural healing process of the body. Techniques like massage therapy are very helpful, they not only help in eliminating your pain but also offer tremendous relaxation. Massage is also very good for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. It helps in reducing the levels of Cortisol in your body, which eventually helps to minimize stress.
In addition to that, physical therapists also incorporate different types of exercises into your treatment plan to improve your flexibility, which plays a crucial role in enhancing your function. People with increased muscle flexibility are less likely to suffer from conditions like sciatica, back pain or shoulder pain etc when compared to those with poor flexibility. So, the flexibility exercises included in your treatment plan can actually have an extremely positive effect on your overall health.
Other important ways of dealing with sciatica
Studies show that yoga is extremely good for people struggling with both acute and chronic pain. Since it helps in strengthening muscles and enhances flexibility it naturally proves to be very helpful both in preventing and reducing pain. It is believed that by performing gentle yoga postures people suffering from sciatica can experience a world of difference in their mobility. Since it enhances their flexibility, they can easily get back to their normal routine.
By making certain lifestyle changes, you can deal with your problem in a better way. When we talk about lifestyle changes, it means bringing some really concrete changes in your life such as starting a workout routine (that can have improved your fitness), and consuming a healthy diet.
Yes, if you are someone who does not give much time to your body, then you must start doing that now, otherwise, you will continue to struggle with pain and discomfort. When you start your own workout routine make sure that you incorporate quality stretching exercises in it. They are very important for strengthening your muscles.
If you are confused about how to design a perfect workout routine that can work for you, then you can take tips from the internet. Running is also a very effective exercise hence you can also include it in your fitness regimen. In addition to that, you should also focus on swimming because it’s great for your body.
If you pair the above-mentioned lifestyle changes with physical therapy you can see quick changes in your health.
So, if you or your loved one is having a severe pain in your lower back, consult a licensed physical therapist immediately.