Sciatica is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. It occurs most often when a bone spur or herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve, resulting in radiating pain through the mid and lower back.
These symptoms are often debilitating, but a licensed physical therapist can design a treatment plan that’s tailored specifically to your symptoms and overall physical health. With a treatment plan designed to treat sciatica, physical therapy can relieve pain, encourage healing of the underlying cause, and reduce the likeliness and severity of future flareups.
Along with medication to treat pain, physical therapy for sciatica is a key part of managing this condition. Several other types of health professionals provide care for radiating lower back pain, such as chiropractors and physiatrists, but physical therapy for sciatica is often employed as the first line of defense. Physical therapists offer a multi-pronged approach—from manual therapy to exercise programs that build core strength and improve mobility and can be continued at home by the patient.
So, what can you expect at your first appointment and beyond? Sciatica physical therapy treatment will consist of a combination of in-person visits and a series of exercises to perform at home. Therapy may also be combined with prescription or OTC medications or steroid injections to manage pain.
It’s important to note that keeping up with the at-home exercise plan recommended by your physical therapist is crucial for success. That’s true during the period that you’re visiting a physical therapy facility, as well as after you’ve managed your most acute symptoms and are no longer coming in for treatment.
The good news is that you can expect to notice a big difference in the severity of your symptoms! For many patients, physical therapy for sciatica can:
If sciatica symptoms are reducing your quality of life and restricting your activities, we can help! Explore your sciatica physical therapy options with our experienced team of physical therapists at IMPACT Physical Therapy today. We’re easy to reach from downtown Chicago, the southwest suburbs, and Champaign Urbana. Contact us to learn more about stretches and exercises to reduce lower back pain, or to request an appointment!