Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves form a complicated network in our bodies. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It runs from the lumbar spine to the buttocks region, and it can cause a slew of problems if you put too much pressure on it.
Sciatica, commonly known as “lumbar radiculopathy,” is a painful ailment caused by sciatic nerve irritation. The lumbar region and behind the thigh are prominent locations for this type of pain. Individuals suffering from sciatica frequently report pain spreading deep into their lower limbs as a symptom.
Sciatica can make it painfully hard to bend, walk, and exercise. The most common cause of sciatica is lumbar disc herniation, but it can also be caused by back damage and disc degeneration.
Physiotherapy at The Running Physio in Toronto, ON may be able to help you find relief from this condition. Call our clinic today to learn more about the benefits of physiotherapy, and schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.
So, how can I tell if I have sciatica?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg.”
Sciatica is typically diagnosed with questions regarding your medical history, alongside a physical exam. Many physiotherapists may also have a CT scan or MRI performed to locate the root cause of sciatica.
A physiotherapist can work with you to:
- Help you return to normal activities.
- Improve your flexibility.
- Improve your range of motion.
- Reduce sciatica pain.
- Educate you on how to stand, bend and twist properly to prevent future injuries.
- Increase your strength.
How can physiotherapy benefit me?
If you live with sciatica pain, a physiotherapist will devise specialized treatment specific to you and your needs.
Physiotherapy for sciatica is a non-invasive, effective, safe treatment plan targeted to the root cause of your pain.
Your therapist at The Running Physio may be able to help you learn how to prevent sciatica and other pain in the future by teaching you at-home exercises for maintenance.
By practicing good posture, proper body mechanics, and staying in good shape, you may also be able to prevent severe sciatica symptoms from recurring again.
What can I expect from a physiotherapy treatment plan?
Physiotherapy involves several treatment methods, including passive therapies, active therapies, ultrasound therapy, electrotherapy, and massage therapy.
Passive therapy may include massage therapy, electric therapy, heat therapy, or ultrasound therapy.
These different kinds of treatment can help reduce pain, stimulate proper blood circulation, and speed up the healing process.
Active therapy includes exercises, specific motions, and stretches to speed up the healing process and provide pain relief.
Your physiotherapist will educate you on the different stretches and exercises you can do at home for pain relief.
Electrotherapy uses electricity to strengthen muscles, reduce pain, increase circulation and improve physical function.
People typically associate this kind of therapy with pregnant women, but that’s not all ultrasounds are used for! Ultrasound therapy helps relieve pain by sending soothing sound waves into deep tissues for relief.
Massage therapy helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain. It loosens tight back muscles that may be pressing on the sciatic nerve, and it increases the release of endorphins for pain relief. Heat therapy helps relax muscles and reduce inflammation.
You can achieve gentle, safe pain relief without medications
Physiotherapy will usually use several different forms of care to reduce the pain and symptoms you feel with sciatica. Active therapies, passive treatments, aquatic treatments, and more are available to you. Your therapist will help determine what kinds of modalities would best work for your condition.
On the chance that your physiotherapist finds any weak muscles, you will be given adequate corrective exercises to reinforce your core strength. These strengthening exercises should concentrate on the lower back and the abdominal muscles, hip muscles, and glutes.
These exercises help strengthen the spinal column, including tendons, ligaments, and supporting muscles while keeping the spine aligned properly.
The stretching exercises that your physiotherapy will teach you are supposed to target muscles that are stiff and tight.
Hamstring stretching is a normal and essential aspect of the physiotherapy treatment regimen for alleviation of sciatica. A physiotherapist can also be recommended for a curriculum of aquatic exercises. You can exercise comfortably with the buoyancy of the water!
Your therapist is here to help guide you through treatment and ensure that you are comfortable and confident in your ability to move and manage your symptoms. Physiotherapy could be the key you’re searching for to end your sciatica pain, but in order to find out, you need to make an appointment!
What are you waiting for? Get started today!
You could be just a phone call away from living a pain-free life—what are you waiting for?
If you or a loved one is suffering from sciatica, be sure to call our office for your personalized appointment with one of our physiotherapists.
A thorough test will be completed, and your physiotherapist will do their best to help you get back on your feet in no time.