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Sciatica - Understanding Treatment

If you are experiencing sciatica pain, numbness, or tingling due to an irritated sciatic nerve, see if physical therapy at Performance Therapy could be right for you. Live a pain-free life today!

Are you suffering from lower back pain that radiates into your buttocks and down your leg? If so, you may be experiencing sciatica. Our team of physical therapists are experts at treating sciatica and helping you find relief.

The sciatic nerve extends from the lumbar spine through the area of the buttocks and down the legs into the toes, making it the largest nerve in the human body. When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated, pain or paresthesias ensue. The symptoms are often felt in the lumbar area, down the leg behind the thigh, and into the lower leg and foot.

Pain, numbness, and tingling make it difficult to sleep, sit, bend, or walk. The most common cause of sciatica is lumbar disc herniation, but it can be caused by an injury or severe disc degeneration, as well. Contact a location near you today to request a free screening if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.


Sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy) is diagnosed through a physical therapy evaluation that includes a thorough history as well as physical examination. Sometimes a CT scan or MRI may be used to confirm the physical therapist’s conclusions.

Once diagnosed with sciatica, a physical therapist will work with you to manage and relieve symptoms of the condition. This includes:

  • Reducing sciatica pain

  • Improving motion

  • Increasing strength

  • Improving flexibility

  • Educating you on how to sit, stand, bend, and twist

  • Returning to normal activities

Targeted stretching and strengthening exercises are vital to treating sciatica pain. Our physical therapists will provide an exercise program you can do at home to aid in pain management. These exercises include strengthening of your spinal column muscles and improving your core.

The core comprises muscles in the lower back, abdominals (stomach), gluteus (buttock), and hip muscles. Strong core muscles not only provide pain relief through spine support, but also keep the spine in alignment and facilitate extension and twisting movements. As a result, these exercises decrease the chance of injury or damage.

Sciatica stretches are designed to target restrictions in the joints and muscles that contribute to your pain. The initial assessment will help your therapist establish a “directional preference,” which helps you feel and move better. Additionally, your home program will focus on improving your pain and restoring your motion.


You do not have to live with sciatica pain, numbness, and/or tingling. At Performance Therapy, our experienced therapists will identify the best way to resolve your sciatica pain. Through directional preference as well as strengthening exercises, we examine how you respond to specific movements and positions to determine the starting point for treatment.

Next, your therapist will focus on areas where you struggle with weakness or develop compensations due to sciatica pain. These exercises will target your core strength. Your therapist will also guide you through postures that help alleviate your pain and minimize the risks of it returning. Throughout each session, our team will spend one-on-one time with you, using hands-on techniques that support your joints, muscles, and nerves.

As you progress, your physical therapist will expand on your exercises and stretches by making them more intensive over time. As a result, your overall strength and range of motion will increase.


At Performance Therapy, we will provide a tailored treatment plan following your assessment so you can begin your road to living pain-free as quickly as possible. If you are experiencing sciatica symptoms, contact a clinic near you today to request an appointment with our team! 


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