Sciatica can hurt a lot. The pain can be felt starting from the lower back to the buttocks and down to the back of the thigh, and even the lower leg. A lot of Americans suffer from sciatica pain without seeing a specialist.
If you have sciatica, you should know that in most cases, sciatica pain can be managed with non-surgical treatments. A critical part of sciatica treatment is physical therapy, which is conservative, non-invasive, and non-surgical.
Below, we talk about the important role physical therapy plays in treating sciatica pain and where you can go in Rochester Hills for it.
Alleviating Sciatica Pain with Physical Therapy
Physical therapists help sciatica patients manage their pain. They do this by asking about your medical history, asking you specific questions about your sciatica pain, and assessing your movements. All this happens during the initial assessment.
While physical therapy programs are individualized, here are some of the things you can expect from your sciatica treatment program:
The first step in treating sciatica pain is often to reduce pain and inflammation. For this, physical therapists use a variety of techniques, such as hot or cold therapy, massage, and electrical stimulation, all of which can make a big difference in how you perceive pain.
Stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension and spasms in the lower back and legs and strengthen the muscles that support the lower back and hips to improve stability.
A physical therapist can guide you through a series of stretches designed to stretch muscles and make them more flexible, as well as strengthen the core muscles, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve and gradually restore normal movement patterns and restore mobility to the lower half of the body.
Nerve Gliding Exercises
Nerve gliding, also known as nerve flossing, is a technique used in physical therapy to help relieve symptoms of sciatica by moving the affected nerve through its normal range of motion, whether through passive or active means, by gently stretching it to relieve tension and reduce nerve irritation. This is done by performing a series of exercises that place the nerve into and out of tension, which helps facilitate movement and eases pain.
Manual therapy as a treatment for sciatica involves myofascial release therapy and soft tissue mobilization, where the physical therapist uses their hands to apply pressure to soft tissues, such as the muscles to relieve tightness and tension, reduce inflammation, improve range of motion, boost blood flow to the area, and reduce sciatica pain.
A physical therapist can educate you on your condition and teach you how bad posture and poor body mechanics can contribute to sciatica pain. A physical therapist can provide guidance on proper posture, correct movements, and lifting techniques to help reduce pressure on the spine and sciatic nerve.
Physical Therapy for Sciatica Pain in Rochester Hills, MI
Dr. Bradley Ahlgren of Ahlgren Spine is a highly experienced spine surgeon in Rochester Hills, MI. Dr. Ahlgren frequently prescribes physical therapy as a treatment for sciatica pain. Unlike other spine surgeons, Dr. Ahlgren likes to explore conservative and non-surgical methods of treating sciatica, such as physical therapy and injection therapy.
We offer physical therapy services on-site in our Rochester Hills location – a physical therapist will be assigned to your care, and the same PT will see you through your treatment. To schedule an appointment with us, call our office today at (248) 215-8080 or use our online form to send a request.