March 30, 2024 3 Ways Physiotherapy Can Help Sciatica Pain

3 Ways Physiotherapy Can Help Sciatica Pain

Sciatica is any pain, numbness, or tingling caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. It’s not a condition in and of itself; it’s usually caused by a herniated disk (slipped disc), bone overgrowth, or another condition. Either way, it can throw a spanner in your everyday life, causing unexpected discomfort or pain. So, what can you do about it?

In this article, we explore how physiotherapy can help. Here are three ways physiotherapy can guide you toward overcoming sciatica.

3 Ways Physiotherapy Can Help Treat Sciatica Pain

Physiotherapists can help tailor treatment to your specific pain level and symptoms. Sciatica symptoms are typically treated with mobilisation, traction, exercise, deep tissue release, and permanent habit changes. We’ll be taking a look at each of these treatment styles in more detail below.

1. Exercise

Exercise is a key treatment for sciatica pain, with four main exercises that may help which might include the following, depending on the reasons for your symptoms:

  • Pelvic Tilt
  • Knee To Chest
  • Lower Trunk Rotations
  • All Fours – Opposite Arm and Leg Extensions

The exercises above work to alleviate sciatic nerve pain by decompressing the nerve and strengthening potentially weak muscles for lower back support.

Inevitably, supervision is important with these exercises to ensure proper technique. At your physiotherapy appointment, your physio walks you through each exercise recommended for your set situation to ensure you perform them properly and safely.

Additionally, one study on lower back pain tested a routine that included the exercises outlined above. This study involved six weeks of mobility work. At the end of the six weeks, participants had decreased sensitivity and improved nervous system flexibility—indicating the effectiveness of these exercises or those similar.

2. Deep Tissue Release and Mobilisation

Physiotherapy may also include some form of deep tissue release. One 2014 study found that deep tissue massage leads to fast results in treating low back pain. Pain relief via massage, for some, is similar to common over-the-counter drugs. As a result, treating lower back pain in this way may help reduce dependence on pain medication (which can’t be taken in the long-term anyway due to undesirable side effects).

3. Permanent Habit Changes

Beyond treating symptoms, physiotherapists can help prevent recurring pain through habit changes. This is mainly through correcting issues with posture that may be a root cause of pain.

Physiotherapy may help you find ways to become more active, leading to a healthier weight. Physiotherapists can also recommend more appropriate footwear, which may be a contributing factor to your pain. High heels and other uncomfortable shoes can aggravate pain through constant pressure. Thus, your physiotherapist can recommend appropriate foot attire for all your activities.

How to Help Sciatica Pain on Your Own?

is beneficial for treating moderate or severe symptoms, but minor or acute cases can often be treated at home.

Apply ice packs to painful areas for 15 minutes several times daily. This is a great way to get immediate relief. After several days, you can follow this up with heat packs as well. Over-the-counter medications are also beneficial for immediate pain relief.

While rest may be tempting, staying active is important. This is because activity will help prevent inflammation. Just be sure you’re avoiding any activities that worsen your pain.

Remember that sciatic pain isn’t permanent and will often go away on its own. Most can manage minor symptoms effectively at home.

For more persistent or severe symptoms, physiotherapy may be necessary. This may include exercises, deep tissue release, and help with habits. This will work together along with at-home treatments to encourage speedier recovery!

Are you interested in physiotherapy for help with sciatica pain? Book an appointment online with Turramurra Physiotherapy today or call 9144 1510 to book an appointment or have an over-the-phone chat with 1 of our physios to see if we can help you.


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