Sciatica is a common problem for many men and women, affecting up to 40% of Americans at some point during their lifetimes. Pain medication can help relieve symptoms, but it won’t remedy the underlying problem, and many medicines can cause unpleasant — even dangerous — side effects.
At Easy Reach Chiropractic, Barbara Adonis, DC, and Heather Previll, PT, DPT, offer physical therapy as a noninvasive alternative therapy for sciatica at their offices in Lake Worth and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. If you have sciatica, here’s how physical therapy could help you find long-term relief for your symptoms.
Quick facts about sciatica
Sciatica is a painful condition that happens when the long sciatic nerve becomes “pinched” and irritated where it exits your lower spine. The sciatic nerve splits into two branches, with each branch traveling down one leg.
Lots of issues can cause or contribute to sciatic nerve compression, including:
- Prolonged sitting
- Prolonged standing
- Heavy lifting
- Poor posture
- Spine conditions, like arthritis or herniated discs
Like many spine-related issues, sciatica becomes more common with age.
Because the sciatic nerve extends down each leg, you can have pain, numbness, and tingling in your legs and buttocks, as well as your lower back. Without proper treatment, your nerve can become permanently damaged, and you might have problems with walking or coordination.
Physical therapy for sciatica relief
Physical therapy focuses on exercises and at-home activities to help build strength and flexibility in your back, while also relieving pain and inflammation. Although there are specific exercises that are routinely used for people with sciatica, our team customizes every therapy program to suit each patient’s unique needs, health history, and other factors.
During each therapy session, you’ll perform special exercises and stretches aimed at relieving nerve compression and improving circulation to the area. Optimizing blood flow provides plenty of oxygen and nutrients to irritated tissues, promoting natural healing.
Other therapy activities focus on strengthening your back and core muscles, providing additional support for your lower back. Stronger muscles and improved flexibility can help prevent sciatica flare-ups in the future. Plus, because it’s noninvasive, you can have physical therapy in the future if your symptoms do flare up again.
Alone or combined
Another major benefit of physical therapy is that it can be combined with other therapies for even greater benefits. Depending on your needs, we may recommend physical therapy on its own or in combination with treatments like laser therapy, spinal decompression, and shockwave therapy.
Finally, your therapy plan will include lifestyle guidance and instructions for home exercises, so you can continue your therapy and improve your symptoms even when you aren’t in our office.
Find relief for your sciatica
Our team has significant experience treating sciatica using therapies aimed at providing long-term, lasting relief. To learn how they can help you feel better with physical therapy and other noninvasive treatments, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Easy Reach Chiropractic today.