The experience of living with sciatica and the depths of the pain that radiates from the thigh to the lower leg, can be debilitating. Caused by irritation of the spine, often due to wear and tear, it can be a problem that affects you over a long time. While surgery might seem like the most effective way to relieve the pain, there is plenty that you can do on your own, as well.
At Butheau Physiotherapy, we offer whatever relief we can offer to those with sciatica. This includes physiotherapy treatments designed to tackle it directly as well as a comprehensive ebook you can download for free that helps you live with the condition. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most effective methods for getting some sciatica relief.
Exercises to improve your core and back strength
As mentioned, sciatica can be caused by wear and tear to spine, often as a result of pressure on it. This is often because the muscles around your spine are tight or weak, meaning your back doesn’t get the support that it needs. There are gentle strengthening exercises that can be done by people of all ages and levels of physical fitness that improve your posture and the support of your back, reducing the pain of sciatica.
Improving flexibility with routine stretching
Your hamstrings, your glutes, and your hips also play a role in decreasing the pressure on your back by helping you maintain good posture. If these areas are stiff, your back can experience more pressure. Stretching routines targeting these key areas can relieve the pain and inflammation caused by sciatica. Yoga is a good example of stretching exercises that could have real benefits.
Massage therapy is an alternative form of sciatica treatment that is best used in conjunction with the others mentioned above. Sciatica causes the muscles to tighten up, and massage can help them loosen once more, alleviating some of the more painful symptoms of sciatica. This loosening can also improve your ability to stretch and perform the exercises that tackle the root causes of your sciatica.
Hot and cold treatments
A cold pack can offer a significant amount of relief when the symptoms of sciatica first flare up. A bag of frozen peas or carrots can work just as well, just make sure it’s wrapped in a clean towel. Applying it to the area for 20 minutes a day can help your muscles relax and ease the pain and inflammation. If the symptoms persist, then using a heat lamp on a low setting or a heating pad on the same area can also work. Alternating between the two can be even more effective.
While physical therapy is often the first and more effective way to treat sciatica, there may be some medications that could manage your symptoms if they are particularly severe or consistent. This can include anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and anti-seizure medications. Of course, any medication you consider taking, even over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, should first be reviewed by your doctor. However, when approved, they can be effective. For instance, anti-inflammatories tackle the pain caused by inflammation in the legs, while muscle relaxants can reduce the muscle tension that causes some of the tightness and soreness of the condition.
Where should you start for sciatica relief?
If you want to make sure that you’re taking the most effective route of sciatica relief, then getting in touch with a physiotherapist might be the right choice. We can help you determine whether exercises, stretching, static stretching, or other techniques are likely to help the most. Sciatica can be treated with surgery, but working with a physiotherapist offers a less invasive and often a much less expensive way to get the same kind of relief.
If you want to learn more about sciatica, the causes, the mechanics of the condition, and how you can relieve it without the help of a physiotherapist, take a look at the ebook on the website. 11 Effective Tips To Tackle Your Sciatica At Home Without Invasive Surgery is a free guide that goes into a lot of details on the topic and is sure to offer some helpful tips.
If you could use a little help from a professional, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Butheau Physiotherapy. We’re glad to answer any questions about cost and availability, and to make sure you get the quality of care you deserve. Together, we can find the right sciatica treatment for you.