Physical therapy for a pinched nerve in the lower back

If a pinched lower back nerve is causing you severe pain, your doctor will likely first recommend one or more conservative treatment options to relieve your symptoms. One of the most common courses of action is physical therapy, which can be a very effective way to ease the pain of a pinched nerve. Learning more about your condition and the range of treatment options available is a great way to help you work more closely with your doctor to develop an effective treatment plan.

What is a pinched nerve?

The term pinched nerve is a common description for nerve compression. While this can happen anywhere in the body, it often occurs in the spine when a condition like a bone spur or herniated disc puts pressure on surrounding spinal nerves. When this occurs, the pain and other symptoms you’re feeling are the result. The location of the nerve also affects symptoms. If you’ve got a pinched nerve in your lower back, your pain may be felt in the following locations:

  • Lower back
  • Buttocks
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Calves
  • Feet and toes

In addition to pain, common symptoms of a pinched nerve including tingling, numbness, cramping and muscle weakness.

Physical therapy to treat nerve compression

Physical therapy is often a great option to help deal with the symptoms of a pinched lower back nerve. Your physical therapist will design a program consisting of two main approaches:

  • Passive treatments — where he or she performs stretches and movements on you
  • Active treatments — in which you perform the exercises yourself

The goal is to increase strength, flexibility and support in the areas surrounding your pinched nerve in an effort to lessen the impact of your pain and other symptoms.

When to consider surgery for pinched nerves

However, if you’ve been visiting a physical therapist — or trying other conservative treatments — for weeks or months without seeing results, contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn about our minimally invasive spine surgery. Our board-certified surgeons+ use a muscle-sparing approach to relieve spinal nerve compression at the source. The result is an outpatient procedure with less risk of complication when compared to traditional open back procedures.

Our caring and dedicated team can help you receive a review of your MRI or CT scan at no cost* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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