Sciatica often leads to symptoms that radiate out of the back and into the leg

by Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation, September 1, 2017

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the entire body. It runs from each side of the lower spine through the buttock and into the thigh, all the way down to the foot. This nerve serves an important role in communicating messages from the spinal cord to the legs and feet, and when it’s damaged, a problem called sciatica can come about and result in radiating symptoms.

Sciatica is not necessarily a diagnosis, but a set of symptoms that are related to a lower back issue. Lower back problems like a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis can cause the sciatic nerve to become pinched, and this in turn brings about symptoms. The most common sciatica symptoms include pain that radiates from the lower back down the leg, constant pain on only one side of the buttock, a burning, stinging or searing leg pain, and weakness or numbness in the leg, foot or toes.

Although sciatica can be a distraction in your everyday life, it’s usually not a major problem which will improve with treatment. Physical therapy is commonly recommended to address sciatica, and it’s been found to alleviate pain and reduce other symptoms. If you’re dealing with sciatica-like symptoms, we can offer a treatment program that will usually include the following:

  • Strengthening exercises for muscles of the back, abs, buttocks and core
  • Stretching exercises that target tight and inflexible muscles in the back and hamstrings (back thigh muscles)
  • Aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, biking, yoga or possibly even Tai chi
  • Passive treatments like massage, ultrasound and ice or heat to reduce pain levels
  • Educational tips on how to reduce complications from sciatica

Unless your sciatica is severe, following this type of treatment program will lead to immediate benefits that will carry on into the long term if you stay dedicated to your exercises. So if you’re experiencing sciatica symptoms, contact Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation in Washington, D.C. at 202-223-1737 or e-mail to schedule an appointment today.

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