Sciatica is an extremely painful condition that affects the sciatic nerve. Symptoms include chronic lower back and leg pain, numbness, tingling and difficulty walking. Physical therapy can help alleviate sciatic nerve pain and increase endurance and muscle weakness.
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Sciatica
Physical therapy exercises focus on strengthening and stretching the abdominal and back muscles and the muscles of the legs. This provides stability for the spinal column and helps prevent future injuries while reducing current lower back pain. There are even exercises that can help pull herniated discs off the spinal cord and nerve roots.
The goal of most physical therapy programs is to strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight tendons and muscles in order to improve range of motion and flexibility as well as give a drug free option to sciatica treatment. The exercises if performed regularly both in our chiropractic office and at home can reduce the need for surgery and pain killer dependency.
Our physical therapist can instruct you in the specific sciatica exercises you need to help alleviate your chronic lower back pain, nerve pain and leg pain so that you can get back to participating in your favorite activities and daily tasks. We recommend that individuals with sciatic nerve pain perform their exercises at least four times a week to improve strength and flexibility.
The most common back exercise is called the back extension. During this exercise, you will sit on an exercise machine that is specifically designed to strengthen the back muscles. You will lift and lower a stack of weights by leaning backwards and forwards with controlled movements. This exercise strengthen the middle and lower back muscles.
When the abdominal muscles are weak, it can affect your coordination and increase misalignments in the back, leading to herniated and ruptured discs and severe lower back pain. There are several exercises that are designed to strengthen the upper and lower back muscles, including crunches and leg lifts. Our physical therapist can instruct you on the proper exercise techniques that will strengthen your abs without putting stress on your neck and upper back.
Your oblique muscles are located on the sides of your torso. They help with twisting movements and are essential for maintaining core strength. One of the easiest ways to exercise your obliques is to hold weights in your hands and slowly flex from side to side. Our physical therapist can teach you how to safely strengthen your obliques using various pieces of exercise equipment, bodyweight exercises and free weights.
In addition to corrective and strengthening exercises, our physical therapist will also show you the proper ways to stretch your back, legs and hamstring to reduce leg and lower back pain and improve your flexibility.
In addition to physical therapy exercises, we offer chiropractic adjustments and lifestyle and wellness advice. To schedule an appointment for your lower back and leg pain and to determine if therapeutic exercises might be beneficial for your sciatica, call our Atlanta chiropractic office at 404-634-1669.