Sciatica can be very severe. This is one of the most common conditions we see as Physiotherapists. It can cause severe pain and stop you from moving. Sciatica isn’t dangerous and doesn’t usually lead to serious or life-threatening conditions. However, it can cause significant damage to your body and make it difficult to do your job.
Physiotherapy is your first line of defense for relieving sciatica. If you suffer from this condition, it is important to consult an orthopedic specialist physiotherapist immediately. Here are some ways they can help you get rid of your leg pain.
Sciatica isn’t a diagnosis. Sciatica is not a specific diagnosis. It’s a common term that refers to a variety of conditions that can cause nerve pain in your legs or legs, or both, arising from your low back. Nerve pain can be caused by a bulging or herniated lumbar disc, or a section of your lower back that is too slouchy (spondylolisthesis), or from degenerative changes in your spine (spondylolysis and arthritis). A combination of any one or more of these conditions could lead to a situation where the nerve root becomes compressed at its exit from your lumbar spine. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling. A lumbar spine injury can also cause a local inflammation response, further sensitizing nerve roots and making it more painful.
For many people, their sciatica comes with injuries to the lumbar discs. In this case, the range of motion of their spine will be limited. Often these patients find it difficult to stand up straight after sitting for prolonged periods of time. An experienced Physiotherapist can use hands-on manual therapy and a specific set of exercises to help restore motion in your spine. This is a necessary step for your leg pain to resolve.
Some patients develop low back injuries that result in sciatica because they do not have the muscular strength to properly support their spine when lifting or doing other active things. These patients often feel low backpressure and/or leg pain after standing or walking for prolonged periods. Your Physiotherapist can target the muscles that support the spine to develop strength and ensure that it is not undergoing excessive stress while you bend, lift or even walk around.
Poor lifting mechanics are one of the primary ways that people injure their back, triggering an episode of sciatica. When you have sciatica it quickly becomes obvious just how often you need to bend and lift objects. Your physiotherapist can teach you to lift properly. This will not only protect your back from further injury, but it will also help to strengthen those important hip and core muscles we were talking about earlier.
Often the injuries that lead to sciatica cause the nerves that travel down your leg to become immobile. When nerves have reduced mobility they undergo excess traction (pulling) causing them to become more sensitive and making you experience more pain. A Physiotherapist can help by providing manual therapy techniques and exercises that restore normal mobility in the nerves.
Often the sciatica pain is just too much for people to begin doing some of the exercises that they need to do to improve. IN this case, your Physiotherapist may use some pain relieving modalities like acupuncture or manual therapy techniques like manual traction to reduce the pain so that you can get moving in a way that will benefit your condition.
There is a lot less sciatica in the underdeveloped world. The reason for this is that people in these countries are more likely to be spending their time doing physical tasks rather than sitting and staring at a computer screen all day. All that time in front of the computer takes its toll on the discs of your low back, but it also leads to muscular weakness. Your Physiotherapist will show you have to set up a workstation to promote good posture reducing pressure in the discs of your low back. They will also ask you to use the correct back support and show you exactly where to put it when you are sitting. Lastly, they may recommend that you set an alarm to get up and walk or stretch regularly or look into getting a sit/stand workstation. Your Physio may also teach you a short stretching routine that you can use before you do any heavy lifting that will help to reduce the likelihood that you will aggravate your sciatica or cause any new injuries to your low back.
There is no question that sciatica can have a profound impact on your quality of life. If you want to eliminate this condition, get yourself an appointment with a Physiotherapist and get it treated. Use this article to ensure you are doing everything possible and you will be on the mend in no time.