Physical Therapy Can Help You Overcome Sciatica Pain in Jacksonville
Your sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your lower back, through your buttocks, and down each leg. If it gets compressed at its point of origin in your spine, you can feel the effects anywhere along its path. The symptoms of sciatica range from numbness, weakness, and tingling to outright pain that stops you in your tracks.
Our team of integrated health care professionals at Advanced Medical Centers in Jacksonville, Florida, takes an interdisciplinary approach to neuropathy pain like sciatica. Our combined specialties bring you the best of regenerative medicine, chiropractic care, and physical therapy so that your treatment can meet your unique needs.
When it comes to sciatica pain in Jacksonville, we help countless Floridians find lasting relief through a comprehensive physical therapy plan.
Understanding Sciatica Pain in Jacksonville
Stopping your acute pain depends on what’s putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. One of the most common culprits is a herniated disc, also known as a ruptured or slipped disc.
Here’s what happens: Your lower back, or the lumbar region, carries the weight of your upper body and sustains a lot of pressure, even when you’re seated. This makes the discs in between your vertebrae susceptible to injury. A herniated disc occurs when the soft, gel-like inner portion of your disc bulges out or ruptures and leaks. Both conditions can compress or inflame your sciatic nerve.
You may also have degenerative disc disease, a condition that virtually everyone over 20 has. This is the normal and expected progressive deterioration of the spinal discs over time. Though typically not the primary cause of your sciatica, it certainly can exacerbate other conditions like a herniated disc or pinched nerve.
In order to solve your sciatica pain for good, we need to solve the underlying cause. In most cases, a herniated disc will heal in about six months if you take care to alleviate undue pressure and follow a professional physical therapy treatment plan.
What Can Physical Therapy Do For My Sciatica?
The key to stopping your sciatica pain is strengthening and mobilizing the muscles and other tissues in your lumbar region in order to alleviate pressure on your nerve. If you have a herniated disc, the goal is the same — take the pressure off so it can heal and you can avoid surgery.
Nothing’s better for strengthening and mobilizing your body than physical therapy. Your gut reaction may be that it hurts to move and physical therapy involves movement, so why would you do physical therapy? Here’s why. Physical therapy:
- Restores your spine’s functionality
- Stops muscle spasms
- Increases your range of motion and ability to move
- Reduces your sciatica flare-ups so you won’t be afraid to move
- Allows healing to take place
Of course, physical therapy is only effective if you’re committed to staying on schedule and doing the work. Our team here at Advanced Medical Centers helps you every step of the way by explaining the benefit of each activity, tailoring your treatment plan to your unique set of symptoms and abilities, and motivating you toward your goal of healing and wellness.
What Can I Expect From Physical Therapy Sessions?
The art and science of physical therapy involve a combination of tissue manipulations, exercises, and technologies that promote strength, mobility, and healing. Again, your sciatica treatment plan depends on the underlying cause, but here are a few of the therapies we might suggest:
- Physical retraining and proper lifting and bending techniques
- Back extension and flexion movements
- Resistance and weight training to strengthen your core
- Manipulation of your joints to make them more mobile and relieve nerve pressure
- Myofascial therapy to stop or prevent muscle spasms
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to stop nerve pain
- Massage therapy to relax tense muscles
These and other techniques are proven treatments that can stop your sciatica pain and prevent it from coming back.
Decompression therapy is another effective nonsurgical treatment for sciatica. Decompression therapy uses targeted traction to carefully stretch your spine and alleviate the pressure from your discs. Often, this is all it takes to create enough space in your spine for oxygen and nutrients to flow to the area so you can heal.
Our team is dedicated to your long-term health and we don’t stop caring when your treatment with us is finished. We teach you how to sit, stand, walk, lift, bend, and carry so that you can take control of your sciatica and contribute to your own health and wellness.
If you suffer from sciatica and long for a pain-free life, call us at either of our two Jacksonville locations. Together, we can stop the pain.