Have you noticed an ache or a pain that starts in your lower back and radiates down one or both of your legs? You might be suffering from sciatica. Sciatica is pain that stretches along the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is not actually a condition, but rather, a symptom of something else – typically a herniated disc in your lower back, a bone spur or spinal stenosis. These conditions often cause pain and inflammation along the lower back and legs.
How to Identify Sciatica
Pain in the lower back, buttocks, and legs are big clues to identifying sciatica. Every patient will experience a different kind of pain. Whether it be mild and achy or sharp and burning, it’s still sciatica. Sciatica patients often comment that coughing, sneezing, and sitting for prolonged periods of time make the pain worse.
Other symptoms to look out for are numbness or muscle weakness in the leg or foot. Although the sciatic nerve runs down both legs, most people only experience pain in one leg or the other.
Physical Therapy for Sciatica
Even though the pain of sciatica can be excruciating, most cases will go away within a few weeks, and typically don’t require surgery. Non-operative treatments have proven to be very successful in treating sciatica. The most common treatment is physical therapy.
Physical therapy is often a central component of sciatica treatment. Through strengthening, stretching and conditioning exercises, patients can recover from sciatica pain and prevent future issues with the sciatic nerve.
The strengthening exercises will help to strengthen the spine and surrounding muscles. Strong core muscles will help relieve pain by supporting the spine. Stretching can alleviate sciatic nerve pain by targeting tight and inflexible muscles.
If you think you are experiencing pain as the result of sciatica, it’s time to stop suffering. At Desert Hand Therapy, our providers specialize in treating sciatica and lower back pain