Physical Therapy and Exercise for Sciatica

back pain relief

Sciatica is a painful condition that can affect your back and hip. It’s a common condition that can affect your functionality and movements. The pain depends on the severity of the condition, and it can get worse with time. 

It’s essential to know critical treatments for sciatica. Visiting a physical therapist is one of the best options. Every treatment has limitations, and each patient will require a tailored approach. The therapist will do all the work to create a proper plan for each individual. 

This article discusses the benefits of physical therapy with exercise for sciatica in Greenwich, CT

What is Sciatica?

There’s a spinal nerve in the lower back region (sciatic nerve). The compression in the sciatica nerve can cause pain in the lower back, hips, and legs. The compression is due to several factors like degeneration of the intervertebral disc. 

The sciatic nerve is responsible for all the movements in the leg region. The lower back is considered the most vulnerable part, as any injury or excessive pressure could damage the nerve. 

Below are the reasons behind compression of the sciatic nerve:

  • Lumbar disc bulge
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Spine degeneration
  • Facet joint injuries
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Disc prolapse is one of the most lethal causes of nerve compression, resulting in further damage. 

Symptoms

  •  Numbness in the lower half of the body (especially legs and hip)
  • Pain in the sciatic nerve region
  • Constant tingling effect
  • The reduction in the flexibility of the ankles
  • Restricted range of motion

What to Expect from Physical Therapy for Sciatica?

The primary goal of physical therapy is to improve mobility in the abdomen, legs, hips, and calf region. Other goals of a therapy session are:

  • Restore range of motion
  • Injury prevention
  • Pain reduction
  • Reduce muscle spasm
  • Activate lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint
  • Improve mobility of the lower body
  • Boost the healing process

Different Types of Exercises for Sciatica

There are plenty of categories for exercises in physical therapy. Each approach has its benefits and is used in specific cases. 

1. Extensions and Flexions

The extension and flexion exercise mainly focus on relieving pain from the lower back region. The unidirectional movement of the spine helps in reducing the pain and preventing any future injury. The therapist will examine an individual’s response towards these exercises before starting the session.

The exercise comprises two movements: an extension of the back and flexion. 

2. Mckenzie Method

The Mckenzie method consists of several directional movements used to locate the pain. The focus is to centralize the pain and reduce the symptoms. The idea behind this method is to bring the pain to the center. 

The centralizing method improves all the symptoms and is highly effective. A trained professional will have a thorough knowledge of the Mckenzie method. 

3. Strength Exercises

The strength exercises can improve the abdomen, back, hips, muscle mass, etc. You can strengthen your core by using these methods: 

  • Isometric approach: The isometric exercises focus on holding a specific position without moving any joints. It includes a plank, dead hang, etc.
  • Isotonic approach: The isotonic method is when the muscles work under a specific resistance. The resistance can be implemented by weights or body weight. 

4. Mobilization

Joint mobilization is similar to a therapeutic technique. The therapist applies a certain amount of force on the joint to enable the mobilization process. 

5. Myofascial Release

Physical therapists use the myofascial release to get relief from sciatica pain. The therapist uses certain hands-on techniques to apply pressure in a specific region for optimum results. 

Try These Exercises for Relief

Here are some of the exercises that can help you get sciatica pain relief. 

Knee Raise

The exercise is easy to perform, and you can do it without any assistance. First, lie down on the floor with your back straight. Now pull your knee towards the chest and try to stretch it. Hold the position for a while and then change the leg. 

Two Knee Twist

Spread your arms outwards to create the letter ‘T.’ Now twist your knee towards the left and then hold the position for a while. Next up, turn it towards the right and stay in that posture for a few seconds.

Cat Pose

Cat pose is among the most effective exercises for sciatica in Greenwich, CT. Start by creating a tabletop position by placing your hands beneath your shoulders. Now, with the help of your shoulder muscles, push your back in an upward direction. Hold the position for a while. 

After this, bend your back a bit by opening the chest in front. Controlled breathing is crucial during these movements. 

Conclusion

Physical therapy, along with exercise, can give emphatic results. Make sure that your lifestyle is crucial for rapid recovery. The situation can worsen if your posture is not correct throughout the day. 

So, follow safe lifting techniques and obey the guidelines provided by your therapist.

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