So Long Sciatica Pain

Sciatica is leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. The pain starts in the nerve roots found on either side of the lower spine, then they radiate through the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve runs the length of each leg from the buttock down to the foot.  Sciatica pain happens most often due to a herniated disc.  If a disc cracks or tears, it can bulge into the spinal canal and pinch the spinal nerve.

Common Symptoms of Sciatica

Common symptoms of sciatica may include:

  • Pain in your rear or leg that worsens when sitting
  • Burning or tingling sensation down the leg
  • Numbness, weakness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the rear
  • A shooting pain that can make it difficult to stand up

Common Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disc or bone spur on the spine compresses part of the nerve.  This causes pain, inflammation and sometimes numbness in the affected leg.  Other common causes of sciatica may include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Pregnancy
  • Being overweight
  • Wearing high heels
  • Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t provide proper support
  • Not exercising on a regular basis
  • Age-related changes in the spine, such as herniated discs and bone spurs
  • Occupation—if you work somewhere that requires you to twist your back, sit for long hours, carry heavy loads or drive for long periods of time that may play a role in sciatica
  • Diabetes affects the way your body uses blood sugar, increasing your risk of nerve damage

Here’s What Can Help—Treatment for Sciatica

Some common treatment options for sciatica include physical therapy, ice or heat, massage, acupuncture, yoga, exercise and medications.

Physical Therapy for Sciatica

To find sciatica treatment and pain relief, physical therapy incorporates a combination of strengthening, stretching and aerobic conditioning.  Your physical therapist has many techniques and forms of treatment they will design specifically for treating your sciatica pain.  Physical therapy treatment for sciatica may include:

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Core exercises
  • Mobilizations
  • Spinal stabilization
  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Hot and cold therapies
  • Exercises to help you keep your spin in neutral positions during all daily activities
  • Education and training to practice proper posture and movement

It’s time to say “so long” to sciatica pain for good.

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