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What Causes Sciatica, and How Can You Find an Effective Treatment?

Written By PTConcepts on March 5, 2021

rsz sciatica2The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve bundle in the body, both in length and circumference. 

You have a sciatic nerve in each leg that starts at the lower part of the spine, runs down through the buttock and leg, and ends at the foot. 

When the sciatic nerve is compressed, it can cause pain throughout your lower body. Fortunately, your physical therapist can help with a safe, effective sciatica treatment. 

What Causes Sciatic Nerve Compression? 

Anything that can put pressure on any part of the body can contribute to sciatica pain. Common causes of sciatic nerve compression include: 

  • Obesity
  • Age-related changes in the spine
  • Poor workplace ergonomics 
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal tumors
  • Herniated disc
  • Diabetes (which causes nerve damage)
  • Trauma
  • Spondylolisthesis (a condition of the lower spine that causes the disc to slip onto the bone)
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces within your spine)

How to Tell if Your Pain is Sciatica

As unique as the symptoms of sciatica can be, there are some conditions that mimic sciatic pain. Included in these are joint diseases and spasms of the buttock muscles (piriformis syndrome). Here are some symptoms that will give you an indication that you may actually have sciatica. 

  • Sudden, severe pain in one leg or your lower back
  • Numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in one leg
  • Sharp jolts of pain
  • A burning sensation in the back of your leg or buttock

Sciatica Treatment in Texas: How a Physical Therapist Can Help 

A physical therapist can provide a custom sciatica treatment plan. The plan will include manual stretching and massage that improves flexibility, eases pressure, and reduces inflammation. 

Additionally, a physical therapist can suggest exercises that can be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home. These exercises will help you keep your muscles flexible and tension-free in between appointments. They’ll also help you gain more strength and reduce your risk of nerve compression in the future.  

Contact Your PT Team Right Away If You Have Pain

Putting off treating your pain can lead to more damage and long-term pain. When you experience pain that’s debilitating or persists for too long, contact your physical therapists at PTConcepts. They’ll create a treatment plan that will ease your pain and prevent it from happening again. 

Do you experience excruciating back and leg pain? We can help you find relief fast. Contact our team to schedule an exam and consultation.

Posted In: Physical Therapy Sciatica Treatment