If you have sciatica, you’re probably already skimming this article looking for answers as to when or if you need to see a physical therapist for treatment. We’ll tell you now: physical therapy can help ease your pain and speed up the recovery process.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It runs from the lower back to the legs and then down to the feet. Sciatica causes “shooting pains” down one side of the body, according to those who suffer from it. This kind of pain is super uncomfortable and can be quite debilitating when left untreated.
It can be difficult to tell if your symptoms require medical attention, however, Austin Manual Therapy Associates in Austin, TXhas put together a list of the 3 most obvious signs that you should seek the care of a licensed physical therapist for treatment.
When should I make an appointment with a physical therapist?
1. You have sciatica as the result of a painful injury.
Your symptoms may worsen over time with moderate sciatica, or they may go away on their own. However, if your sciatica symptoms appear suddenly after an injury or trauma (such as a vehicle accident, sports injury, or a hard fall), you should see your doctor and physical therapist as soon as you possibly can.
Because these symptoms are the result of 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 he or she advises.
2. What you’ve been doing to relieve pain at home isn’t working anymore.
You might try these basic 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 to keep 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, or if they worsen, you should contact your primary care physician. They may refer you to physical therapy so you can get relief from your aches and pains!
3. 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 compact it is. Severe shooting pain, paralysis or numbness on one side, or inability to move your feet are all possible symptoms. You may lose control of your bladder and bowel function if your sciatic nerve becomes compressed in the area that regulates those functions.
It is important to consult with both your primary doctor and your physical therapist If you experience any of these symptoms. Together you can discuss a treatment plan for easing your pain and getting you back to your normal function. Your doctor may also run a number of tests to rule out any other underlying conditions.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment
Does sciatica pain have you feeling down in the dumps? Are your symptoms so debilitating that you’re finding yourself calling out of work more often than you’d like? You’re not alone. 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 a range of motion and postural improvement in order to decrease stress on the sciatic nerve and prevent pain from returning in the future.
If you’re ready to get rid of your nagging sciatica pain, your search can end here. We’ll provide you with an individualized treatment plan to help you get back to your normal life as quickly as possible!