The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It is formed at the point where five nerves from the lower back all come together, and stretches all the way from the hips to the bottoms of the feet. When this important nerve becomes compressed, inflamed or irritated, it causes the pain in the lower back and legs known as sciatica.
Sciatica is not a medical condition itself, but is a symptom of whatever condition is affecting your sciatic nerve. Pain in the lower back, hip and legs is the most common symptom. However, tingling, numbness and weakness are also symptoms of a damaged sciatic nerve. Sciatica is often a result of underlying conditions conditions, such as:
- Bulging or herniated discs in the spine.
- Spinal stenosis.
- Traumatic injury to the spine or pelvis.
- Spinal tumors.
Physical therapy is a popular and effective way of treating the pain from sciatica. A physical therapist uses a number of proven methods to help relieve sciatic pain. One of the most commonly employed methods is known as myofascial release therapy.
What is myofascial release, and why does it help sciatica?
Myofascial release is a method that a physical therapist can use to treat many sources of pain that are caused by damage to the nervous system. It involves the therapist using hands-on, manual techniques to release areas of tension and pain in the body. Here are three reasons that myofascial release is an effective tool for treating sciatica:
- Reduced pain — Tense tissue can greatly exacerbate pain caused by sciatica. Myofascial release techniques help relieve pain by removing the tension from the surrounding tissue and encouraging the tissue to lengthen and loosen. This decreases the pressure being put on the sciatic nerve.
- Increased circulation — Myofascial release helps improve the circulation to the effective area by encouraging blood vessels to open. This helps reduce swelling and inflammation that may be contributing to sciatic pain.
- Improved range of motion — Sciatic pain can often be caused by an injury or other condition that prevents your joints from using their full range of motion. This can result in the nerves being compressed or irritated, causing sciatic pain. By loosening up the tense muscles surrounding your joints, myofascial release can help you regain your full range of motion again.
Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for treating pain caused by sciatica
At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address your sciatic pain.
Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.
Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.