Three sciatica symptoms and physical therapy treatments

Sciatica Symptoms and Treatment

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) claims that 31 million Americans are living with lower back pain on any given day. Lower back pain is also a common cause of people missing work, and it can affect the young and old alike. 

Sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve is either pinched or irritated, and it’s one of the most common causes of lower back pain. Sciatica is known to cause several specific symptoms. However, physical therapists can offer many treatment options to treat sciatica. 

Three common sciatica symptoms people seek treatment for

Before you go to a doctor or physical therapist, you might want to know if your symptoms could be caused by sciatica. This will give you a better idea of what treatments might be suggested for you. Three of the most common symptoms of sciatica are: 

  1. Pain — Lower back pain is caused by many issues. But the pain that sciatica causes is unique in several ways. It often feels like a burning in your lower back or legs, and sciatica pain has also been described as feeling like an electric shock. Also, the pain caused by sciatica tends to radiate from the lower back and down the leg. 
  1. Odd nerve sensations — Sciatica can cause people to feel several odd sensations in their lower body. Numbness is a common sensation reported with sciatica, and tingling can also be experienced with this condition. 
  1. Weakness — People with sciatica often have weakness in their leg or foot. This is a result of the interruption of nerve impulses to the leg and foot muscles. 

Three physical therapy treatments for sciatica symptoms

Physical therapy is an option that can benefit patients with sciatica, and physical therapists have several sciatica treatment methods that can help with your symptoms. Here are three of the most common treatments used for sciatica: 

  1. Stretches — Tense muscles in the lower back and legs are often the root cause of sciatica. Physical therapists can show you how to perform specific stretches that are designed to relieve sciatica symptoms.
  1. Manual therapy — Therapy specialists can also use their hands to treat sciatica. The manipulation of the body by a therapist’s hands is called manual therapy, and it can help restore mobility and flexibility to your lower back and legs. 
  1. Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) — In some cases, knots of scar tissue or adhesions can form in the lower back muscles. Often, these adhesions are the result of a previous back injury. IASTM involves the use of specially designed metal tools, and therapists use these tools to break up adhesions and return flexibility to your muscles. 

Advent Physical Therapy can help you find treatment options for sciatica symptoms

Are you looking for an experienced physical therapy team that offers effective treatments for sciatica symptoms? Advent Physical Therapy can help. We have 14 clinics in West Michigan, and each of them offers complimentary screenings to help you begin your therapy process. Our team also creates therapy plans that are personalized to the needs of each patient we see. 

Take the next step to start getting our help treating your sciatica. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.