If you’ve suffered from pain from sciatica, you know the toll it can take on your daily life. Luckily, physical therapy is a great solution for those seeking relief. Here are a few benefits of physical therapy for sciatica, and common techniques used to relieve pain in those affected.
Movements to Evaluate Pain Points
Sciatica is characterized by pain along the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back into the hips, buttocks, and down the legs. Physical therapy helps mitigate this radiating pain by restoring movement and function of the legs and lower back.
A PT may have you bend backward and forward (extension and flexion) or twist side to side to evaluate your range of motion and identify painful areas. These are directional motions that will often be used as a part of the McKenzie Method for evaluating the roots of your pain.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is often used for sciatica, since the specific muscles can be targeted. Spinal muscles and connective muscular tissue in the lower back can compress the sciatic nerve. This may be a root cause of sciatic pain. Therefore, massage that applies direct pressure in these areas can be effective in relieving tension and pain.
Another common activity physical therapists recommend for sciatica is hydrotherapy. Individuals can use water resistance to gently build and tone muscle. Water aerobics and swimming are very low-impact and ideal for people who experience a lot of pain through weight-bearing land exercise. An Enablr therapist can even meet you at the pool to practice these techniques!
Isometric exercises involve muscle contractions without joint movement. They’re often used by physical therapists on patients with more acute pain, in order to strengthen and build muscles. For example, squeezing a ball or pillow between your knees while laying on your back can be a great way to gently strengthen your hip abductors.
Isotonic exercises involve the contraction of muscles to resist constant load. These can involve back- and abdominal-strengthening exercises to build up muscles in the lumbar spine and overall core stability. However, some exercises can exacerbate sciatica; so it is important to have a provider develop an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs.
Physical Therapy for Sciatica with Enablr Therapy
No matter what treatment works best for you, it’s important to seek out the advice of physical therapists when you’re suffering from sciatica pain. If you’re in need of solutions, Enablr Therapy is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll help you start thriving.