Sciatica is a very common form of lower back pain, and it occurs when one of the sciatic nerve roots in the lower spine is being pinched. Several muscle issues can cause sciatica. This condition can also be caused by spinal injuries like a herniated disc. To help treat sciatica, physical therapists in Plainwell, Michigan, have many techniques at their disposal. Here are two techniques commonly used in physical therapy for sciatica pain:
- Therapeutic exercise
One muscle issue that can cause you to develop sciatica pain is weak back and core muscles. Weak muscles in the back and core aren’t able to do their primary job: support the spine. This means that the pressure that even normal activities place on the spine will be much greater. In turn, the increased pressure can cause vertebrae in the lower back to compress more than they should. This extreme compression can then pinch the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica.
Therapeutic exercise is one therapy method that physical therapy for sciatica pain can use to improve muscle strength. Many strengthening exercises fall into this category, and an example of an exercise that can be used to strengthen lower back muscles is the bird dog exercise. This exercise has you get down on all fours. Then, you’ll raise one arm and the opposite leg until both are straight, and you’ll hold this position for several seconds.
- Myofascial release
Another therapy technique that’s often used in physical therapy plans for sciatica pain is myofascial release. Fascia is a covering of connective tissue that separates muscles and other structures in the body. In some cases of sciatica, areas of tension build up in the fascia, and these tense areas are called trigger points. The trigger points in the fascia can restrict the movement of back muscles, and in turn, these restrictions can lead to sciatic nerve pinching.
To help reduce myofascial trigger points, physical therapists can turn to myofascial release. When using this therapy, gentle but firm pressure will be applied to your back muscles, and the therapist will typically use their hands to provide the pressure. However, there are also special tools that can be used to provide the appropriate level of pressure to break down trigger points. The pressure is combined with specific movements to release the tension stored in a trigger point, and this can help restore normal movement to the muscle. It can also help restore normal spinal alignment and decrease the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Physical therapy for sciatica pain is available in Plainwell, MI
You may be worried that you’ll have to look beyond Plainwell for sciatica physical therapy, but Armor Physical Therapy has a clinic right here in town that offers treatment for this condition. Our sciatica treatment plans are designed by expert physical therapists, and the plan that’s built for you will be personalized to your specific needs. Our plans are flexible because they use multiple therapy methods, and some of the methods used in your plan may include:
Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment to begin treating your sciatica pain.