How to Handle Sciatica: Your Guide to Physiotherapy

Posted by MVMT Team

If you’ve ever had sciatica or sciatic pain in the back, you understand it can be an unpleasant experience. However, there’s great news: sciatica doesn’t have to keep you on the sidelines for long. With a detailed treatment plan, such as physiotherapy, you can recuperate quicker and return to enjoying your life sooner.

We won’t try to hide it–sciatica is no fun. It’s also not an unusual condition. It presents with pain that radiates from your spine down one or both of your legs (the “sciatic nerve pain” goes through your spine and branches out through your hips).

If you have sciatica and want to get back to being healthy as soon as possible, keep reading our guide to handling sciatica effectively with physiotherapy treatments in St Albert.

Where does Sciatica Come From?

The term sciatica refers to pain that originates in your spinal column and radiates down one of your legs. It’s typically triggered by pressure on or inflammation of your sciatic nerve.

Often, a problem in the lower back such as a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease can cause the sciatic nerve to end up being inflamed and send out the pain down the back of one leg. Some common conditions and reasons for sciatica include:

  • Poor posture
  • Motor vehicle injuries
  • Muscle injury
  • Acute injury
  • Chronic overuse injury
  • Muscle tension
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Congestion of scar tissue
  • Blood circulatory problems
  • Sports injuries
  • Connective tissue problems
  • Progressive condition
  • Radiculopathy pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Mobility challenges
  • Irregular or poor joint movement

You may experience sciatica pain on one or both sides of your body. If you have sciatica, you might experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in your back that shoots down your leg
  • Pain in the back of one or both legs affecting your daily activities
  • Weakness, or pins and needles in one or both legs
  • Tingling, burning, or cramping in one or both legs
  • Feeling like your sciatica is becoming worse

What Does Sciatica Feel Like?

There are various types of discomfort you can experience with sciatica. The most typical type of pain is a dull ache that extends down your leg. You can likewise experience acute pains, burning feelings, and stabbing pains. It can also feel like an electrical shock or jolt and sometimes comes to be excruciating for the sufferer.

How Does Physio Treatment of Sciatica Work?

Most importantly, you should start with rest. As much as possible, you should remove anything putting strain on your sciatic nerve, providing it time to heal. This might imply going on short-term disability or taking a leave of absence from work. You can likewise apply heat or ice bags for pain relief.

Your physiotherapist can recommend the most beneficial type of treatment program for your sciatica.

One treatment your physical therapist may use is manual therapy–utilizing their hands to move and adjust your tissues or joints, relieving nerve stress.

A 2nd possible treatment is physical exercise. Your physiotherapist may recommend workouts that build up the muscles around your spinal column and hips, decreasing your discomfort and helping your condition improve more quickly.

Qualified Physiotherapy Workouts for Sciatica

First, let’s take a look at what exercises are beneficial for sciatica. Exercises that reinforce the muscles around your spine are helpful. Your physiotherapist may recommend exercises such as yoga, crunches, and back stretches.

While exercise can help reduce your discomfort in the short term, it’s most successful when integrated with a customized treatment plan, such as hot or cold treatment sessions. Exercises are most successful when integrated with a comprehensive treatment plan, such as heating up to get you moving and feeling much better quicker, but they’re not a lasting remedy.

If you have severe sciatica, exercise might not be your greatest alternative right now. Start with gentle stretches. As your symptoms subside, you can slowly increase the magnitude of your exercises. Make certain to seek advice from your physiotherapist about the most appropriate workouts and pain management techniques to treat your condition.

Other Treatments for Sciatica From a Physiotherapist

Your physiotherapist may also propose other treatments, such as:

TENS Therapy – This device generates little electrical impulses towards the troubled area to stimulate your nerves and decrease discomfort.

Acupuncture Treatment – During an acupuncture appointment, exceptionally small needles inserted into your skin at particular points decrease discomfort and swelling. 


Whatever physical therapy treatments you choose, sciatica can take its toll on your body and your emotions. It can be challenging to remain positive when you’re in pain. However, research reveals that staying positive is among the very best ways to accelerate your recovery!

When you’re suffering from sciatica, you have to find methods to manage your pain in the short-term, while also ensuring you’re going in the appropriate direction to get better for the future. Keep the tips in this article in mind when handling sciatica to ensure you maximize your treatment and get back to your life as soon as possible.

Call MVMT today for direct billing and patient-centred care. Our experienced healthcare professionals can start alleviating your sciatica pain today!

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