What Can Physiotherapy do for Sciatica

What Can Physiotherapy do for Sciatica


Sciatica is the symptom of pain down the leg that people may experience because of a low back problem. The sciatic nerve starts at the low back and goes down the buttock and branches out through the back of the leg to the foot. There are many reasons as to why the sciatic nerve may be symptomatic.

Common problems resulting in sciatica may include a herniated disc, stenosis or narrowing of the nerve space, tightness in the hip, or misalignment of the pelvis. Pain, numbness, tingling, cramping, burning and weakness in the muscles of the involved leg are the symptoms of sciatica.

When patients engage in a regular program of gentle exercises, they can recover more quickly from sciatica pain and are less likely to have future episodes of pain. Physical therapy exercises incorporating a combination of strengthening, stretching, and aerobic conditioning are a central component of almost any sciatica treatment plan.

General Physiotherapy Exercises for Sciatica pain:

Physiotherapy exercises for sciatica usually focusses on three key areas – strengthening, stretching and aerobic conditioning:

  • Strengthening Exercises: Many exercises can help strengthen the spinal column and the supporting muscles, ligaments and tendons. Most of the strengthening exercises focuses on the lower back, but also the abdominal muscles and gluteus (buttocks) and hip muscles. Keeping the back muscles in alignment, strong and facilitating movements that extend or twist the spine with less chance of injury or damage is quite essential. These strong core muscles can provide pain relief because they support the spine.
  • Stretching Exercises: To alleviate sciatica pain, stretching is usually recommended. Stretches for sciatica are designed to target muscles that cause pain when they are tight and inflexible. Hamstring stretching is almost always an essential part of a sciatica exercise program.
  • Low Impact Aerobic Exercises: Aerobic activity encourages the exchange of fluids and nutrients to help create a better healing environment in your body. Some form of low impact cardiovascular exercises, such as, walking, swimming or pool therapy is usually a component of recovery. Aerobic conditioning also has the unique benefit of releasing endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, which helps reducing sciatica pain.

​Regular movement is vital to provide healing nutrients to the injured structures that are causing the pain. We at HCR specialize in providing appropriate physical therapy and exercise programs and instruction. Our professional physiotherapists are well equipped with various physiotherapy techniques, exercises and knowledge through which they can help remedy your physical health disorders or problems.