Can Physical Therapy Help Me Resolve Recurrent Sciatica for Good?

Can Physical Therapy Help Me Resolve Recurrent Sciatica for Good?

As many as 40% of Americans suffer from sciatica at some point during their lives, and for some people, those painful symptoms wind up recurring. Physical therapy helps relieve sciatica pain without long-term use of medication, and it improves your comfort and your quality of life completely noninvasively.

At LA Pain Doctor, our team helps patients manage their sciatica symptoms and prevent future symptoms with a range of treatments, including physical therapy. Here, learn some quick facts about sciatica and how physical therapy can help you find relief.

Understanding sciatica

The longest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve exits your lower spine before splitting into two branches. Each branch travels down a leg. 

Sciatica is a painful condition that happens when the sciatic nerve is “pinched” or irritated where it leaves your spine. Many things can cause sciatica, including:

Like other nerve-related pain, sciatica pain can happen anywhere along the path of the nerve. That’s why people with sciatica often have pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness that extends into their buttock and leg in addition to the discomfort in their lower back.

Physical therapy for long-term sciatica relief

Physical therapy (PT) includes exercises and stretches tailored to each person’s specific symptoms. For sciatica, therapy activities focus on building lower-back strength and promoting flexibility while relieving inflammation that contributes to pain. In addition to on-site activities, your therapist recommends stretches and exercises you can do at home, too.

During your PT sessions, we teach you specific exercises aimed at reducing nerve compression and irritation around the sciatic nerve. Stretches and massage help promote circulation in the area, delivering plenty of oxygen and nutrients to spur natural healing responses.

For recurrent sciatica, your therapist focuses on exercises that help strengthen the muscles supporting your spine and legs, reducing strain on your lower back to help prevent symptoms from returning. For some patients, seeing a physical therapist on a regular basis helps keep symptoms at bay, especially if sciatica is related to a progressive or degenerative condition.

Completely customizable

One of the major benefits of PT is that it can be completely customized to suit your unique symptoms, health history, and lifestyle needs. Often, we prescribe physical therapy in conjunction with other treatments, like oral medications or spinal injections for maximum benefits.

Your therapist also provides you with lifestyle guidance to help reduce your symptoms and prevent them from recurring. And,once your PT course is through, you can continue to perform your exercises at home and seek additional therapy in the future, if necessary, for long-term relief.

Find relief for your sciatica

Sciatica can make simple, daily activities painful, and it can even interfere with your sleep. To learn more about the sciatica treatment options we offer, including physical therapy, call 504-229-4866, or request an appointment online with LA Pain Doctor in Luling and New Orleans, Louisiana, today.

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