Sciatica is a spine condition affecting the longest nerve of the body, the sciatic nerve, which originates from the lumbar spine and travels down through the buttocks, hamstrings to the lower leg. The condition is characterized by pain and tingling sensation in the lower back that may radiate to the leg. Sciatica usually affects either side of the body and occurs when a bone spur, Herniated Disc or Spinal Stenosis puts pressure the sciatic nerve. Although the pain and other symptoms associated with the condition are extremely discomforting, Sciatica can be effectively treated with non-operative treatments. In most cases, the orthopedic doctor may refer the patient to a physical therapist to relieve the pain and restore movement of the affected leg. A typical physical therapy program for Sciatica may include the following:
Deep Tissue Massage: This technique aims at relieving acute or chronic muscle stiffness that could be causing the condition. The physical therapist applies direct compression to relax the strained ligaments, muscles, tissues as well as tendons in the spine.
Hot And Cold Therapy: Applying hot packs helps to increase the flow of blood to the affected area, thereby ensuring a sufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients. For instance, if the condition is caused due to tension in piriformis muscle, placing a heat pack on the location of the muscle may ease Sciatica pain. Cold therapy, on the other hand, may help to decelerate blood circulation in order to reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasms.
Ultrasound: This therapy uses sound waves to generate warmth in the muscle tissues and improves blood circulation. Increased blood flow helps to soothe muscles, reduce spasms and eliminates stiffness, swelling as well as pain.
Core Strengthening Exercises: In order to ease Sciatica symptoms, the physical therapist may advise strengthening the spinal column and stretching the supporting muscle groups. This can help to relieve pain, maintain the normal alignment of the spine and facilitate normal movement of the spine without causing any strain.
OrthoTexas provides effective physical therapy to help patients find relief from Sciatica. We will carefully evaluate your symptoms and medical history to devise an individualized program for maximum results.