Physiotherapy to Manage Sciatica Nerve Pain

Physiotherapy to Manage Sciatica Nerve Pain

Physiotherapy Treatment for Sciatica Nerve Pain:

Do not wait to seek treatment if you have sciatica. The best results can be obtained by quickly obtaining the available therapy options. Sciatica Nerve Pain is caused by a strain on the sciatic nerve, and treatment should try to lessen that strain as delayed treatment may result in nerve damage.  One such method of treatment that involves relieving this strain is physiotherapy. In order to ease muscle strain in the lower spine, buttock, and leg, physiotherapy treatment lowers nerve pressure.


The lumbar nerve root being compressed as a result of spinal disc herniation, disc prolapse, bulging discs, slipped disc, wear, or trauma of the lumbar disc or vertebrae is the most typical cause of sciatica. Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, and spinal degeneration are additional causes of sciatica. The sciatic nerve is frequently impacted during pregnancy because of rapid weight gain. The compressed nerve in the lumbar spine may be the cause of the pain, or it may come from unrelated sources such as the pelvis, hips, piriformis, and gluteus muscles. Leg pain from the sciatic nerve can travel down the spine. Generally, the patient may experience thigh pain on the front and lateral sides in one leg but it can be in both legs.

Physiotherapy Management of Sciatica

Physiotherapy is a conservative treatment option for sciatica pain. It involves a variety of techniques and exercises to relax pain and muscle spasms, improve core stability and range of motion in the back, and relieve pressure on the nerve. Electrical modalities, exercises (strengthening, stretching, and aerobic conditioning), muscle energy techniques, spinal stabilization, mobilizations, nerve slides/glides, etc. are all included in the physiotherapy treatment for sciatica. Exercise programs in physiotherapy treatment are designed according to the condition, patient needs with taking care of their provocating factors.

Physiotherapy Treatment of Sciatica nerve pain includes:

Sciatica pain is treated with ice packs or other cold remedies. Every two hours, ice can be applied for roughly 20 minutes, but avoid letting an ice pack touch the skin directly. If you are using ice from the refrigerator then first crush those ice cubes and put them in a plastic pouch then apply. Be cautious about ice burn.


You can use heating pads or a warm bath for at least 15 minutes, but not for more than two hours. Heat treatment improves blood flow, which reduces pain, relaxes the body, and increases flexibility. But use heat treatment once your pain becomes older than 5-6 days.

Ultrasound Therapy:

To lessen nerve discomfort and strain, ultrasound therapy is used.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation:

Sciatica nerve pain can also be treated with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. A tiny current is passed through two electrode pads placed on the skin of the sciatic nerve roots to cause tingling.

Interferential Therapy (IFT):

With two electrodes inserted at the nerve roots and the other two at the leg, interferential treatment (IFT) is used to reduce sciatic pain. IFT has been demonstrated to be quite successful in treating sciatica.

Shockwave Therapy:

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive procedure that stimulates cellular regeneration and local vascular remodeling while reducing muscular tone and relieving the pain associated with peripheral nerve injury.

Lumbar Traction:

Physiotherapists frequently employ lumbar traction for sciatica because it relieves pressure on the sciatic nerve roots and reduces pain.

Exercise Therapy:

It’s crucial to remember that a person’s muscles get more rigid the less active they are. A physiotherapist can recommend an effective fitness program that meets a person’s unique demands. The physiotherapist particularly suggests spinal mobilization, motor control exercises, and nerve mobilization as part of supervised exercise treatment. Physiotherapists use mobilization and manipulation as treatments to help individuals with sciatica have more range of motion and lumbar function.

Stretching Exercises:

Exercises that target stretching are advised to target cells that, when they are stiff and contracted, cause pain. In their daily activities, the majority of individuals rarely stretch those muscles, which extend from the pelvis to the knee at the back of the leg. Knee-to-chest stretches, back extensions, sitting spinal stretches, hamstring stretches, and transversus abdominis are a few examples of stretching exercises.

Strengthening Exercises:

Building muscles through strengthening exercises help to prevent sciatica. The muscles in the back and the core are crucial for maintaining correct posture and body alignment. Patients who regularly engage in light exercise can recover from sciatica pain more quickly and are less likely to experience pain recurrence in the future. For instance, strengthening the abdomen, and the iliotibial band, performing the cat and camel exercise, bridging, etc.

Aerobic conditioning Exercises:

Exercises that involve an aerobic component, such as swimming, walking or running, promote the movement of fluids and nutrients to improve the recovery environment. The benefits of aerobic exercise include the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which will lessen sciatic discomfort.

Massage therapy:

By increasing blood circulation, reducing pain, and encouraging muscle and nerve relaxation, massage treatment also, can relieve tension and rigidity in muscles and tendons and reduce inflammation. The soreness and tension brought on by the pain of a pinched sciatic nerve can be relieved by massaging the buttocks and the backs of the legs. Deep tissue and neuromuscular massage are just a few of the numerous varieties of massage treatments.

Supportive aids:

Moreover, to reduce pressure on the nerve, the physiotherapist suggests using pillows and other supportive devices like:

Foam Rolling
Leg Elevation Pillow
Sleeping Pillow
Sturdy Back Brace
Also, McKenzie Lumbar Roll
Wearable Relief.

Always speak with your physiotherapist before beginning the exercises. As some people with sciatica may have relief from back extension exercises while others may experience relief from forward flexion. Furthermore, unguided exercise can lead to worsening pain.

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