22 Mar Relieve the Pain of Sciatica with Physical Therapy
The pain of sciatica may seem unbearable. It can certainly bring your lifestyle to a halt while you try to cope with movement and to find some relief from the pain. It may seem as if the pain and discomfort will continue forever and it is a debilitating condition which causes a great deal of frustration. If you want to know how to relieve sciatica pain and be able to get life back on track, it’s important to seek professional medical advice as there are options available.
What is sciatica?
Your spine is made up of bones, separated and cushioned by connective tissue. Gradually, through wear and tear or, because of an injury, a disk may become worn with the center pushing through the outer ring. This is known as the herniation. It may be the cause of pressure being placed on the nerves and this can be incredibly painful. You may find that the pain radiates down the sciatic nerve which is the longest nerve in the body and, the nerve splits running through the buttocks and down the legs into the feet. Therefore, this pain can radiate into different parts of the body, you may even find that you have a tingling sensation in your legs or feet and the pain may be dull or severe. After taking medical advice, your doctor may recommend you to have the physical therapy which focuses on strengthening and stretching the body to alleviate pain.
Even though sciatica can be debilitating, it is important to keep your body as flexible as is possible. At one-time, medical advice suggested remaining still and resting but, this may make the problem worse. It is best, however, to work with your body rather than against it. Moving little and often is best. Your physical therapist will advise you and in addition to regular treatment sessions, you will have exercise to do at home. These include strengthening exercises to target the supportive muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the back. They will also work on the muscles of the buttocks and the abdominals. It is important to have strong core muscles as they support the spine. Any stretches given will be to ease out the tightness of those muscles that cause pain due to their inflexibility.
Your physical therapist may also suggest working on your posture and may ask the following:
- Do you sit down at work for periods of time?
- Do you stand for long periods?
- Does your neck, shoulders or a backache regularly?
It may be that changing your posture will help you to avoid having more back problems in the future. Simple adjustments can make a big difference and your physical therapist can tell a lot through observation and watch your gait as you walk. Recovering from sciatica is not an overnight recovery process. It does take time but providing you keep up the exercise program and keep your back strong and flexible, you may find that sciatic pain becomes a thing of the past.