Sciatica can certainly make life more difficult for people. Walking across the room can lead to back spasms and pain. Bending down to load the dishwasher could become a chore to be avoided. Even just sitting at your desk for long periods of time can be uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, there are many Americans who end up dealing with the symptoms of sciatica. One medical study reports that between 13% and 40% of people are affected by sciatica in their lifetime. Physical therapy for sciatica is a treatment option that can be very effective. It can be helpful to know what to expect when meeting with a physical therapist for this back issue.
What to expect from your first physical therapy appointment for sciatica
Physical therapists are trained to treat a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, including sciatica. However, these specialists will need to gather some information about your condition before treating it.
This is why the key component of your initial therapy session for sciatica will be a comprehensive physical evaluation. This evaluation will likely include:
- Questions about your lifestyle and daily routine
- Tests to determine how much sciatica has decreased your back function
- Questions about past back injuries or conditions
- Movement tests to learn what’s causing you pain
What to expect in your physical therapy plan for sciatica
Following your evaluation, your physical therapist will design an individualized physical therapy plan for your sciatica. There are many therapy methods that they can include in your plan. Some of the most commonly used physical therapy methods for sciatica are:
- Myofascial release — This is a type of manual therapy. It involves your physical therapist applying pressure to myofascial trigger points in your back. Physical therapists use their hands to apply the therapeutic pressure. A study reveals that patients reported an almost 63% decrease in their sciatica pain after using myofascial release for four weeks.
- Dry needling — Dry needling involves your physical therapist using thin needles to prompt a twitch response in muscles. This technique can help reduce chronic tension in back muscles that are contributing to sciatica. Medical research shows that patients had a more than 37-point decrease in their pain scores on average after having this treatment.
Back in Motion offers effective physical therapy for sciatica
Ready to find effective therapeutic care for your sciatica? Our physical therapists at Back in Motion are ready to help you get the care you need for this back problem. We offer comprehensive evaluations that can pinpoint the root cause of your sciatica. In addition, our physical therapists are experts at building personalized therapy plans. These plans are designed to reduce sciatica pain and prevent this issue in the future.
Contact us today for more information about all the treatment options we offer for sciatica or to schedule an initial appointment.