Health Blog

Say No to Sciatica Today with Physical Therapy!


The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It extends from the lumbar spine through the buttocks area. Sciatica is pain that results from the irritation of the sciatic nerve. Generally, pain is felt in the lumbar area and behind the thigh. The pain can also radiate to the lower limbs. Sciatica can make bending and walking very difficult, but OBTS Physical Therapy can help. The most common cause of sciatica is lumbar disc herniation, but it can be caused by a back injury and disc degeneration. Sciatica is also referred to as lumbar radiculopathy.


Diagnosing and Treating Sciatica

Sciatica is diagnosed with a medical history and physical exam. A CT scan or MRI may be performed to locate the root cause of sciatica. According to Move Forward, “Conservative care like physical therapy often results in better and faster results than surgery or pain medication.” A physical therapist will work with you to:


  • Reduce sciatica pain.
  • Improve motion.
  • Improve flexibility.
  • Increase strength.
  • Educate you on how to stand, bend and twist.
  • Return to normal activities.


A physical therapist may use several types of treatments to reduce pain and symptoms of sciatica. Active treatments include motions, stretches and specific exercises to accelerate healing and give pain relief. A physical therapist will teach you different motions that you can do at home for pain relief. If a physical therapist discovers any weak muscles, you will be given corrective exercises for core strengthening. The strengthening exercises in physical therapy not only focus on the lower back but the abdominal muscles, hip muscles and glutes. All of these exercises help strengthen the spinal column, including the tendons, ligaments and supporting muscles while keeping the spine in proper alignment.


The stretching exercises in physical therapy target muscles that are inflexible and tight. Hamstring stretching is an important part of a physical therapy treatment program to alleviate sciatica. An aquatic exercise program may also be recommended by a physical therapist. You can do exercises easily with the buoyancy of water.


Passive treatments may include electric therapy, heat therapy, ultrasound or massage therapy. All of these different modalities help reduce pain, stimulate blood flow and accelerate healing. Electrotherapy uses electricity to reduce pain, strengthen muscles, ramp up circulation and improve physical function. Massage therapy helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain. It loosens tight back muscles that may be pressing on the sciatic nerve, and it increases the release of endorphins for pain relief. Heat therapy helps relax muscles and reduce inflammation.


All around, physical therapy for sciatica is a non-invasive, multifaceted treatment and an effective treatment plan that is targeted to the root cause of sciatica. A physical therapist will devise a personalized treatment just for you. The goal is to help you live a pain-free life. Say “no” to surgery and opioids with physical therapy.


You can say “no” to sciatica with physical therapy. Plus, you’ll learn how to prevent sciatica in the future by doing home-exercise motions that your physical therapist has taught you for maintenance. By practicing good posture, proper body mechanics and staying in good shape, you can also prevent sciatica from occurring again.


If you’re suffering from sciatica, be sure to contact our LaPorte, Valparaiso, Crown Point, & Highland, IN physical therapy offices for a one-on-one consultation with our physical therapists. A comprehensive exam will be performed, and our physical therapists will get you on the road to recovery. Get back in the game with physical therapy. You’re just a phone call away from living a pain-free life.


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Our Reviews
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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