The location of the pain varies from person to person and can range from mild to severe. The condition often occurs when a herniated disc, which is a bulge in the rubbery cushions between the vertebrae, irritates the nerve. Other possible causes include spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal canal, and degenerative disc disease, which is the age-related changes in the discs. The pain can be felt on one or both sides of the body and may worsen with movement, such as sitting or standing for long periods. If you experience symptoms of sciatica such as pain, tingling, or numbness, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
how physical therapy can help:
Physical therapy can be a game-changer in managing your sciatica symptoms and improving your quality of life. Our trained therapists can assess your unique situation and create a customized treatment plan to address your pain while helping to alleviate it and improve mobility. From manual therapy techniques to at-home exercises, we can help you get back on your feet and back to your daily activities. Additionally, our team can provide education on good posture and body mechanics to prevent future flare-ups.
exercises that may help reduce pain:
If you experience more pain with these exercises, hold off from that particular movement.
Low Lunge – Kneel on the ground and extend one of your legs back as far as it will go, placing the top of your foot on the ground. Raise the knee of your other leg so the thigh is parallel to the ground, with the shin perpendicular and your knee directly over the ankle. Straighten your spine and raise your arms until your biceps frame your head. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then return to the kneeling position. Alternate legs and perform the same movement.
Prone on Elbows – Lie on your stomach and place your arms under your body or to your side with your elbows down. Lift your upper body while keeping your hips down. Hold for 5-10 seconds and do this 15 times. Gradually, extend your forearms and elbows to lift your abdomen off the ground. Make sure to stop if you’re uncomfortable.
Apply Cold/Heat – Temperature treatments are useful for improving sciatica. For the first week, use ice packs or other cold options to reduce inflammation. Do not allow an ice pack to directly touch the skin and use them for only 15-20 minutes at a time. Introduce heat after the first week, once the pain starts to diminish. Some people prefer heating pads, while others like to use a warm bath. Apply heat for at least 15 minutes, but no longer than a couple of hours.
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