Sciatic pain can often be debilitating. This type of leg pain, which is usually accompanied by numbness, tingling or weakness, has been known to render people immobile. Pain starts in the lower back and travels through the buttock area and down the big sciatic nerve in the back of the legs.

How Physiotherapy Can Help Treat Sciatic Pain

How do I know it’s sciatica?

Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Chronic pain only on one side of the leg or buttock. It’s hardly ever in both legs;
  • Pain increases when sitting;
  • Less of a dull ache in the leg and more like burning, searing or tingling;
  • Hard to move the leg, foot or toes accompanied by instability and paralysis;
  • A sharp, shooting pain making it hard to walk or even stand up; and
  • Pain down the leg and perhaps in the foot and toes – usually in both feet.

The pain can either be sporadic or chronic and can possibly be incapacitating, depending on where the pinched nerve is located.

Some causes of sciatica:

  • Irritated nerve roots in the lower lumbar spine area;
  • Lumbar spine stenosis – when the spinal canal becomes narrow;
  • Obesity/being overweight;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Degenerative disc disease – a breakdown of discs in the lower back;
  • A vertebra slipping forward onto another vertebra, also known as spondylolisthesis.

The benefits of physiotherapy for sciatic pain

A physiotherapist will be able to decrease your pain, increase mobility and muscle function, and give you the tools to help prevent recurrences.

There are usually two parts to a physiotherapy regime for back pain:

  • Passive exercise – helping to reduce pain to a more manageable level; and
  • Active exercises.

It may be prudent to take it easy for awhile; however, after a day or two staying immobile may actually impede your healing. Active back exercises will help to rejuvenate the spine and decrease the pain.

A physiotherapist can fashion an exercise plan for you and make sure you’re doing exercises in a controlled, proper way to get the nerves, discs, muscles, ligaments, soft tissues and joints as healthy as possible again. In addition, they may utilize passive healing methods, like ultrasound, heat/ice packs and other non-invasive healing methods.

The team at Dynamic Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic is well-versed in modalities that can help alleviate sciatic pain. Give them a call today and get on the road to feeling better.


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