It is a severe condition characterized by pain, paresthesias, and paralysis in the distribution of the sciatic nerve or a related lumbosacral nerve root. Sciatica pain is frequently exacerbated by lumbar spine flexion, twisting, bending, or coughing. That’s why sciatica rehabilitation is essential.
Causes can be:
Sciatica symptoms can be caused by any condition that has a structural influence on or compresses the sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve damage can also induce sciatica symptoms such as pain, muscular weakness, and paresthesia and is frequently caused by a traumatic injury (pressure, stretching, or cutting) rather than nerve compression or irritation. some of the causes are-
- Spinal stenosis,
- Herniated or bulging lumbar intervertebral disc,
- Piriformis syndrome,
- Lumbar Radiculopathy,
- In addition, Pelvic tumors,
- Also, due to Trauma to the leg, etc.
Clinical presentation of sciatica can be:
- Radicular pain in the lumbosacral nerve root distribution,
- Sensory impairment/disturbance, such as hot and cold sensations in the legs, tingling/burning sensations,
- or numbness,
- Muscular weakness,
- In addition, Reflex impairment,
- Also, Gait dysfunction.
Sciatica Rehabilitation includes:
Heat and cold packs- Heat packs can help alleviate discomfort by relaxing muscles. The heat from these packs assist in the dilation of blood vessels, the improvement of blood flow, and the reduction of muscular tension. Using a heat pack may aid in relaxation and preparation for exercise therapy. Whereas a cold pack may provide pain relief by numbing the skin. These packs restrict the blood vessels beneath the skin, indeed reducing discomfort and swelling.
Back extension and flexion exercises are designed for the specific patient and their complaints. Backward (extension) and forward (flexion) bending are examples of these exercises.
The McKenzie Method- aims to alleviate radiating pains from the spine.
Traction- Mechanical traction gradually pushes the vertebrae apart to alleviate spinal tissue compression. Traction of the lumbar spine can aid in the treatment of sciatica.
Strengthening exercises- Strengthening the muscles of the abdomen, low back, hips, and legs.
Stretching exercises- such as hamstring stretching, gluteal stretching, also, Iliopsoas and quadriceps stretching.
Functional training- Functional training include reintroducing activities like lifting, bending, and squatting.
Nerve glides or nerve mobilization- This approach promotes mobility and alleviates discomfort.
Joint mobilization and manipulation.
Dry needling- This method relieves pain by releasing hyper-irritable and/or hyper-contracted muscle tissue.
Furthermore, the Muscle energy technique- This approach may aid in the reduction of pain and the restoration of function.
In addition, Myofascial release and soft tissue mobilization- To address fascial limitations and reduce muscular tension or spasm, physiotherapists move tissues in the lower back, hips, or legs.
Also, Gaint training and active assisted range of motion exercises.
Electrotherapy or therapeutic modalities such as-
- Combo therapy,
- Neuromuscular electrical muscle stimulation,
- Also, Super inductive system (SIS),
- In addition, TR or Tecar therapy.