Physical Therapy and Exercise for Sciatica – Our Insights
When talking about nonsurgical treatments for sciatica, exercise and physical therapy for sciatica cannot be overlooked. One may not be wrong to describe them as indispensable. They can help to enhance the flexibility of your back and reduce pressure on your sciatic nerve.
You get amazing benefits when you engage in a well-managed program of physical therapy for sciatica and exercises regularly. This can be of immense help in guarding against recurring episodes of leg pain.
Here you can learn more about how physical therapy exercises help you to get rid of the pain. Also the types you should consider doing to relieve your sciatica symptoms.
How Can Physical Therapy For Sciatica Be Helpful
It greatly helps to know the underlying cause of leg pain to properly treat it. There are several factors that could be responsible. Without the knowledge of the specific one, you will most likely be limited to simply controlling the symptoms and there is no telling if you will ever stop doing so.
Qualified and experienced physical therapists may be able to detect what underlying issues may be responsible for your sciatica. These professionals can do this by asking you questions about the location of your pain, when it started, and how you’d rate it on a scale of like 1 to 10, among others.
More important is that physical therapy offers help in correcting issues contributing to the leg pain. Stretches and exercises can assist in combating the symptoms. They help to improve your posture, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and, so, aid in reducing pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Therefore, physical therapy can speed up recovery and prevent recurrence of sciatica.
There are three main types of physical therapy exercises that are often used to treat sciatica. They are stretching, strengthening, and low-impact aerobic exercises.
Stretching is typically the first type of exercise that people with pain, including sciatica, are asked to do. It is well known that the muscles around the affected parts sometimes become tightened and less flexible. This results in pain.
So, stretching or moving those parts, such as the lower back and hips, that may be suffering from the flexibility and tightening issues will certainly be useful. This helps to promote the almost immediate alleviation of pain by reducing tightness of muscles and enhancing flexibility.
The hamstring is a part that is often the target of stretch exercises. In most cases, people do not ordinarily stretch this long muscle, which extends from the pelvis down to the knee on the rear side of the thigh, well enough in the course of daily activities. The muscles tend to become tight as a result, contributing to pain.
There are different types of stretches that may help improve sciatica symptoms. They include pigeon pose, standing hamstring stretch, and bird dog move.
Sciatica is a symptom of problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, or the spinal column. Exercises that can help to strengthen these can assist in fighting the symptoms. Such will ease pressure on the sciatic nerve, thereby relieving pain that radiates down your body.
The types of exercise that will especially be beneficial are those that work the abdominal muscles, hip muscles, and the gluteus (buttock) along with the lower back.
When your core becomes strengthened, it becomes better enabled to provide support for your spine. The exercise keeps it flexible and well aligned. There will be a lower risk of damage or injury as well.
Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise can be an integral part of a program for rapid improvement of sciatica symptoms. The ideal one, in this case, will be those forms that do not increase pressure on the affected parts. Examples include swimming, walking, and water therapy.
Low-impact aerobic exercise promotes the release of endorphins, which helps to relieve pain naturally without any drugs. It promotes faster healing by improving the circulation of fluids and nutrients.
Condition Specific Exercises
It is not always a case of one-fits-all when talking exercises that can provide relief to people with sciatica. These must be tailored to the underlying medical conditions in mind. Certain other factors, including a patient’s level of pain, should also be considered.
For instance, the ideal exercise for someone whose cause of leg pain is herniated disc will involve positions that can cause the symptoms to move up from the leg to the low back. Examples of ideal types include press-ups and curl-ups.
The piriformis stretch may be better when the cause is piriformis syndrome. This stretches the piriformis muscle that lies in the hip, running close to the sciatic nerve. The exercise can help to deal with the pinching or irritation that may be causing you to experience pain.
Warnings and Precautions for Physical Therapy For Sciatica
Physical therapy for sciatica and the exercises should ideally be supervised by a trained professional. This will help a great deal in ensuring that there won’t be any safety issues.
It is advisable to start treatment as soon as you notice symptoms of sciatica. Ideally, this should commence within two weeks.
There is enough information online, including videos, on specific exercises that can improve sciatica symptoms. If for some reason you prefer to do exercises at home, you should proceed with caution. It may be better for you to stop if you experience unbearable pain when trying to get into positions that are demonstrated.
Again, it is best to perform exercises for leg pain relief under the supervision of a trained expert. Such professionals can put together a customized at-home exercise program for you as well.