Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It originates from nerve roots from the lumbar spinal cord, travels down your buttocks and branches out into smaller nerves throughout your legs and feet. When the lumbar nerve roots that ultimately form the sciatic nerve are compressed, you’ll feel pain radiating into your buttocks, legs, and feet. Sciatica is a common and debilitating symptom caused by various musculoskeletal conditions that affect the lower back. While sciatica will most likely not cause permanent nerve damage, it can cause discomfort and pain in your everyday life.
- Pain shooting into buttocks/down the legs
- Numbness/Tingling in legs and feet
- Increased pain with prolonged sitting or standing
- Herniated or bulging disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Injury/surgery in the lower spine area
- Piriformis syndrome
TREATMENT WITH PHYSICAL THERAPY
Physical therapy will focus on treating the main cause of sciatica. Your therapist will use various manual techniques, such as massage and joint mobilization/ traction, to increase space between the vertebrae in your spine and alleviate muscle spasms in your lower back.
Your therapist will also prescribe specific exercises that will treat your condition. A combination of gentle stretches and core strengthening exercises will relieve pressure off the spinal nerves and give more support to the spine. You will also be instructed in proper body mechanics with lifting and bending and workplace ergonomic modifications to avoid further injuries to the spine.