Suffering From Sciatica?
Physical Therapy Can Help


Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve branches out from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Often, sciatica affects only one side of your body.


Common Symptoms of Sciatica

Common symptoms of sciatica may include:

  • Pain in your rear or leg that worsens when sitting
  • Burning or tingling sensation down the leg
  • Numbness, weakness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the rear
  • A shooting pain that can make it difficult to stand up

Common Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disc or bone spur on the spine compresses part of the nerve. This causes pain, inflammation and sometimes numbness in the affected leg. Other common causes of sciatica may include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Pregnancy
  • Being overweight
  • Wearing high heels
  • Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t provide proper support
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Age-related changes in the spine, such as herniated discs and bone spurs
  • Occupation—if you work somewhere that requires you to twist your back, sit for long hours, carry heavy loads or drive for long periods of time that may play a role in sciatica
  • Diabetes affects the way your body uses blood sugar, increasing your risk of nerve damage

Physical Therapy
—Treatment for Sciatica

Physical therapy exercises incorporate a combination of stretching, strengthening and aerobic conditioning for sciatica treatment and pain relief. Your physical therapist has many techniques and forms of treatment they will design specifically for treating your sciatica pain. Treatment for sciatica may include:

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Core exercises
  • Mobilizations
  • Spinal stabilization
  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Hot and cold therapies
  • Exercises to help you keep your spin in neutral positions during all daily activities
  • Education and training to practice proper posture and movement