Physiotherapy essentially involves active and passive therapies as part of the multidisciplinary sciatica treatment plan. Active physiotherapy treatments require the active participation of an individual (example, therapeutic exercise) whilst passive physiotherapy treatments refer to treatments (such as Manual Therapy, Electrotherapy, Shockwave Treatment etc.) applied by the physiotherapist.
Why physical therapy is helpful for people with sciatica?
Physiotherapy is beneficial for sciatica pain relief as it can help reduce pain and inflammation, improve physical function, and prevent sciatica symptoms from recurring. Besides, undergoing physiotherapy sessions can correct your posture, and you can also learn home exercises to improve physical health.
What to expect in physiotherapy for sciatica?
In your first physiotherapy treatment appointment, the therapist will go through a thorough assessment perform some special testing and ask you questions regarding your sciatica and medical history. Before beginning with sciatica pain treatment, they may ask about the first occurrence of the pain and whether an injury triggered sciatic symptoms. Furthermore, your level of activity before the development of low back and leg pain will also be considered.
Next, your physiotherapist will ask you to perform some simple movements to assess your range of motion, reflexes, posture and movement ability. After that, your physiotherapist combines the results of your evaluation and formulates an organised physiotherapy treatment programme for you. The passive and active therapy programme designed includes realistic goals for sciatica pain management that you can reach.
Passive Physiotherapy to Reduce Sciatica
1. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage treatment targets certain spinal muscles and fascia in the lumbar spine, hips, and buttocks that may be putting pressure on the sciatic nerve or nerves that branch off from the sciatic nerve.
2. Hot and Cold Therapies
By using heat, the physiotherapist seeks to increase blood flow in the target area – as more blood flow carries more oxygen and nutrients to that area. Conversely, cold therapy slows down circulation and helps reduce pain, inflammation and muscle spasms.
3. Tens (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
TENS is administered through a machine that stimulates your affected muscles through variable (yet safe) measures of electrical current. Amongst all methods, this physiotherapy treatment for sciatica relief procedure can increase the production of endorphins in your body – the natural painkillers.
Active Physiotherapy to Ease Sciatica
In the active part of physiotherapy, your therapist teaches you different physio exercises for sciatica Like Nerve Glide Techniques, that help in improving pain, muscle strength and flexibility. The physiotherapy treatment programme generally includes strengthening exercises, aerobic conditioning and movements to increase range of motion.
Hydrotherapy is a form of gentle exercise, that your therapist may suggest as part of the sciatica management. Hydrotherapy uses the resistance of water to tone and build muscle. Swimming and water aerobics are types of hydrotherapy.
Besides, gentle exercises to strengthen your core, lower back, and legs, your physiotherapist can instruct you to correct your posture and incorporate ergonomic principles into daily activities to better safeguard your spine. Therefore, physiotherapy treatment for sciatica pain can alleviate your debilitating nerve pain and discomfort to a great extent. Get in touch with a physiotherapist to improve daily movement and prevent future episodes of sciatica from occurring.