Find treatments for your sciatica symptoms in Ferndale, WA

Sciatica Symptoms and Treatment

The sciatic nerve has the distinction of being the largest and longest nerve in the body. It starts in the lower back before splitting and running through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. Unfortunately, an issue with the sciatic nerve is also a common source of back pain. 

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that involves the sciatica nerve. Often, it’s caused by pinched sciatic nerve roots in the lower back, and this pinching can stem from spinal misalignment or tense back muscles. A back muscle injury can also lead to sciatic nerve pinching. 

Additionally, irritation of the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica. This irritation commonly occurs in the lower back, too. However, it can also be related to tight muscles in the hip or legs. Most cases of sciatica only affect one side of the lower body. 

What symptoms does sciatica cause? 

There are three symptoms that are commonly caused by sciatica. The first of these is pain, and sciatica pain is routinely described as feeling like a burning or shocking sensation. It may also get worse when you move in certain ways or sit for long periods of time. 

A second symptom sciatica commonly causes is abnormal nerve sensations. For instance, many people report feeling a pins-and-needles sensation in one leg. It’s also common to experience numbness in areas served by the sciatic nerve. The third common symptom of sciatica is muscle weakness, which can lead to difficulty moving the affected limb.

Four physical therapy treatments that can help your sciatica symptoms

Physical therapists in Ferndale, Washington, have many therapy techniques at their disposal, and several of these are helpful for treating sciatica symptoms. Four treatment options physical therapists often use for sciatica are: 

  1. Therapeutic exercises — This therapy method is useful for stretching muscles and other soft tissue. In turn, this can help reduce sciatic nerve irritation. Therapeutic exercises can also help strengthen lower back muscles, which may help decompress sciatic nerve roots. 
  1. Manual therapy — This hands-on therapy is designed to move the body in therapeutic ways. Manual therapy movements can help therapists relieve pressure from the sciatic nerve. They can help reduce pain this condition causes as well. 
  1. Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)IASTM gives therapists a treatment option that can break down scar tissue in muscles. Breaking down this tissue is intended to increase muscle flexibility. For sciatica patients, more flexible muscles often cause less irritation or pinching of the sciatic nerve.
  1. Myokinesthetic therapy — This technique is designed to improve a patient’s posture. Improving your posture with myokinesthetic therapy can help realign the spine. In turn, this can help treat sciatica symptoms and prevent you from developing them in the future. 

Ferndale residents can find effective treatment for sciatica symptoms nearby

At Whatcom Physical Therapy, our team is proud to have a clinic in Ferndale, and our team here can assist you with a range of issues, including treating sciatica. We’ll start you off by having you come in for a complimentary screening. This will give us a chance to get to know you and learn about your symptoms. Our team will then build you a treatment plan that’s personalized to your needs, and your plan could include the four treatment options discussed above and more. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can treat sciatica or to schedule an initial appointment.