Exercise for sciatica relief, along with physical therapy, are often effective and come with the added benefit of being non-invasive. Both exercise and physical therapy can help the body build up strength and flexibility in the back, which may reduce pressure on the nerve compression that is causing the sciatica pain. Additionally, continuing an exercise program once the sciatica is gone can help diminish the chance of sciatica (or another back problem) occurring again. Of course, these types of treatments need to be properly designed by a doctor or physical therapist if they are going to be successful. If the wrong movements are practiced, or if the selected movements are not performed correctly, exercise can make sciatica worse or damage the back in other ways. That’s why you should always consult your physician before starting an exercise program for sciatica.
Additionally, you should follow these rules to ensure your safety:
- Make sure to maintain the posture specified by your physician or therapist while performing the exercises.
- If the exercise creates pain, stop, review the instructions for the exercise and try again. If still hurts, stop and consult with your physician or therapist for help.
- Don’t push your body further than instructed in regards to stretching or repetitions. Do the exercises exactly as directed.
- Follow your physician or therapist’s entire plan for your recovery – including taking medications, avoiding prohibited activities, recommendations for sleeping, sitting or standing adjustments, etc. – not just the exercise portion.
Following these rules will help you regain your back health and leave sciatica behind as quickly as possible. However, there is a possibility that even if you follow your physician’s instructions to a T, you won’t find relief in physical therapy or exercise treatments for sciatica. If that’s the case, you’ll likely discuss other treatments with your physician. If your pain is severe enough, surgery may become a realistic solution. If this happens, contact Laser Spine Institute about endoscopic spine surgery, which has been shown to be both highly effective and safe.