Does That Sciatica Pain In Your Back Require Medical Attention? A Physical Therapist Could Help!
Did you know that the sciatic nerve is the human body’s longest nerve? It runs from the lower back down the legs and finally to the feet. Sciatica sufferers often describe their pain as “shooting pains” that travel down one side of the body. Ouch!
This kind of pain can be nearly unbearable to live with. The good news? Physical therapy can help ease pain and speed up the healing process. Joint Effort Physical Therapy in Colorado Springs, CO is here to provide you with the therapeutic services you require to say goodbye to sciatica pain, once and for all.
We want our patients to feel informed and educated on recognizing the signs of sciatica. It can be difficult to tell whether your symptoms require medical attention, but we’ve compiled three major red flags that indicate that you should get help for your sciatica pain.
When should I see a PT for pain relief?
There are a few key indicators that it’s time to see a physical therapist for pain relief from sciatica.
1. You’ve noticed your pain is getting worse over time.
Depending on how compressed your sciatic nerve becomes, the intensity of your discomfort may vary. It will be more painful the more compacted it is. Severe shooting pain, paralysis or numbness on one side, or inability to move your feet are possible symptoms.
You may lose control of your bladder and/or bowel function if your sciatic nerve becomes compressed in the area that regulates those functions. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your primary care physician and a physical therapist develop a treatment plan for relieving your pain and restoring your normal function. Your doctor may order several tests to rule out any other underlying diseases.
2. Your pain came from a specific injury.
Your symptoms may worsen over time with moderate sciatica, or they may go away independently. However, suppose your sciatica symptoms appear suddenly after an injury or trauma (such as a vehicle accident, sports injury, or a hard fall). In that case, you should see your doctor and physical therapist very away. Because these symptoms result from a powerful impact surrounding the sciatic nerve, they are likely to be severe, and it is critical to assess the extent of the injury. Physical therapy will almost always be recommended by your primary physician, regardless of the course of treatment they advise.
3. Your at-home remedies aren’t doing much to quell your discomfort.
You might try these essential home remedies to help alleviate some of your sciatica pain. Using ice and heat compresses alternately or sleeping with a pillow between your knees, for example, can help relieve discomfort and stiffness. Sitting in a reclining chair, which redirects the strain from your lower back, can also bring some relief. Going for a stroll or doing other light exercises can also assist in keeping your body moving and prevent it from becoming too stiff.
These are some of the most often utilized at-home pain management techniques, although they don’t always work. If your home therapies aren’t helping to relieve your pain and restricted motion, or if your symptoms haven’t improved after a week, you should contact a physical therapist. Physical therapy can help you get the relief you’re looking for from your aches and pains.
How can a physical therapist help?
Are you living with discomfort due to your sciatica? If so, physical therapy can help you find relief. Physical therapy treatments will include targeted stretches and exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the sciatic nerve. Treatments may also focus on range of motion and postural improvement to decrease stress on the sciatic nerve and prevent pain from returning in the future.
Targeted stretching and strengthening exercises are vital to treating sciatica pain. Our physical therapists will teach you an exercise program you can do at home to manage your pain.
Many exercises can help strengthen the muscles of the spinal column. Most of these exercises focus on improving your core. The core comprises muscles in the lower back, abdominals (stomach), gluteus (buttock), and hip muscles.
Strong core muscles can provide pain relief because they support the spine, keeping it in alignment and facilitating movements that extend or twist the spine with less chance of injury or damage.
Targeted stretches for sciatica are designed to target restrictions in the joints and muscles that contribute to your pain. The initial assessment will help your therapist establish what’s known as a “directional preference,” meaning what helps the patient feel and move better.
Your home program will focus on improving your pain and restoring your motion so you can resume the activities you enjoy!
You can find true relief at our clinic
If you are ready to get rid of your sciatica symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’ll provide you with an individualized treatment plan to help you get back to your everyday life as quickly as possible.