Sciatica is the symptom of pain referred down the leg that people may experience because of a low back dysfunction. The sciatic nerve starts at the low back and descends from the back, down the buttock sending branches to innervate muscles and skin through the posterior leg to the foot. Many reasons exist as to why the sciatic nerve may be symptomatic.
Common problems resulting in sciatica may include:
- A herniated disc
- Lumbar stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal and/or of the neuroforaminal space
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spondylolisthesis – condition of one spinal vertebrae moving forward over another vertebrae
- Tightness and/or muscle spasms in the hip or lumbar spine causing misalignment of the region causing mechanical changes in the lumbar spine
Sciatica symptoms may include pain, numbness, tingling, cramping, burning and possibly weakness in the muscles of the involved leg. For some people, sciatica pain can be severe and debilitating. For others, the sciatica symptoms might be infrequent and irritating, but have the potential to get worse with various movements or activities. When patients engage in a regular program of gentle exercises, they can recover more quickly from sciatica pain and are less likely to have future episodes of pain. Physical therapy exercises incorporating a combination of mobilization and range of motion, strengthening, stretching, and aerobic conditioning are some of the central components of almost any sciatica treatment plan. Orthopedic manual physical therapy is also at the center point of getting our clients feeling better and back on the trail of recovery and their active lifestyles. Your therapist will work with you to understand your goals and develop a treatment plan to achieve those goals through physical therapy. Our treatments have an individualized, patient-centered focused. All treatments are one-on-one so you can expect to receive optimal care during each treatment session.