Sciatica pain is one of the worst pain you can ever experience. Over 40% of people get sciatica at some point, but it’s often written off as regular back pain. Sciatica refers to the pain you feel as a result of damage or irritation to your sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. Your sciatic nerve starts in your lower back and then branches off through your hips, buttocks, and legs.
Spine doctors are likely to refer you to a physical therapist as part of your multidisciplinary sciatica treatment plan.
If the nerve becomes pinched, commonly by a herniated disc or bone spur in your spine, you likely experience significant pain. This pain usually radiates from your lower back into your buttock and leg. Your discomfort can range from a mild ache to sharp, burning pain.
The goal of physical therapy is to gently relieve painful soft tissue tension by relaxing your body, it combines exercises, massages, and other advanced techniques to address your sciatica pain. Physical therapy treatment plans may include some of the treatments below:
Cold laser therapy and Electric Muscle Stimulation:
Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive option for treating sciatica pain. While the therapy session is on, a hand-held device is placed over the affected area and delivers medical-grade lasers into the deepest layers of your tissues.
The lasers cause vibrations on a molecular level, prompting your body to begin the healing and recovery process.
With Electric muscle stimulation, the electrodes are placed on the surface of your skin, and it delivers electrical pulses into the body that can reduce swelling, relieve pain, and help your sciatic nerve heal. The stimulation is a safe, painless, and effective way to address the source of your sciatica pain.
Deep tissue massage:
Deep tissue massage targets specific spinal muscles and fascia (muscular connective tissue) in the lumbar spine (low back), hips, and buttocks that may be compressing the sciatic nerve and/or nerves that branch off from the sciatic nerve. The therapist uses direct pressure and friction to try to release the tension in your soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles).
Hot and cold therapies:
Physiotherapists use heat to get more blood to the targeted area, more blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to that area. For instance, a heat pack placed on your piriformis muscle may help reduce muscle spasms that could be causing your sciatica. On the other hand, cold therapy slows circulation, helping reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain. Your physical therapist will alternate between hot and cold therapies to get the greatest benefit from each.
Ultrasound produces sound waves that travel deep into your muscle tissues and creates a gentle heat that enhances circulation and helps speed healing. Increased circulation helps reduce muscle spasms, cramping, swelling, stiffness, and pain.
Conclusively, Physiotherapists will educate you on how to correct your posture and incorporate ergonomic principles into your everyday activities to better protect your spine. The simple changes in daily movement will go a long way toward preventing the recurrence of sciatica.
Living with sciatica pain even for a short period of time can sideline you from your normal daily life.
For more information on how Physiotherapists can help you with Sciatica Pain, kindly visit our website www.bluetreeclinics.com to learn more about how we can help you.