Sciatica is nerve pain caused due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. It is leg pain caused by a pinched sciatic nerve in the lower back. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. The pain begins in the nerve roots that are located on either side of the lower spine, which runs down from the buttock to the foot. Sciatica can also cause feelings of numbness, tingling and weakness.
Pain can get worse by prolonged sitting, standing, coughing, sneezing, lifting, straining or twisting. Depending on the severity and the underlying cause of sciatica pain, different types of medications and treatment methods are undertaken.
Risk factors for sciatica include lumbar disc, degenerative arthritis of the lumbar spine, slipped disc, trauma or injury to the lumbar spine.
A specific controlled, progressive exercise program can be tailored around the underlying cause of the sciatica pain. The specific sciatica exercises serve two main purposes by reducing the sciatica pain in the near term and provides conditioning to help prevent future recurrences of the pain. Various sciatica exercises are usually better for relieving sciatica pain than bed rest. Without exercise and appropriate movement, the back muscles and spinal structures become deconditioned. The exercises recommended by your physiotherapist will depend on what's causing the sciatica pain.
In some cases, patients may need to undergo a surgery after 4 to 6 weeks of incessant pain.
There are complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and yoga techniques that help ease sciatica pain. A physiotherapist treats the leg pain and other symptoms by prescribing specific exercises and at the same time teaches the patients how to do them. It's important to work with a specialist who has experience working with people suffering from sciatica pain.