Sciatica Treatment in Albany & Schenectady, NY

The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, running from your lower back, through the buttocks, and down your legs, ending just below the knee. The sciatic nerve controls several muscles in the lower legs and supplies sensation to the skin of the foot and the majority of the lower leg.

Sciatica is not a condition, but rather a symptom of another problem involving the sciatic nerve. Anything that irritates this nerve can cause mild to severe pain which can be described as dull, achy, sharp or electric shock-like.

Common Causes of Sciatica

  • A Herniated Disc – Which happens when a disc is pushed out of place, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.

  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – The narrowing of the spinal cord in the lower back.

  • Degenerative Disc Disease – The breakdown of discs in the spine which act as cushions between the vertebrae

  • Spondylolisthesis – A condition where a vertebra slips forward over the one below it.

  • Spasm or inflammation of the Piriformis muscle. This muscle lies in close proximity to the sciatic nerve and can oftentimes irritate the nerve and cause pain.

Symptoms of Sciatica

A hallmark symptom of sciatica is pain that radiates from your lower spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg. Other common symptoms include numbness in the leg along the nerve and a tingling sensation in the feet and toes. Usually, only one side of the body is affected.

How Physical Therapy Helps Sciatica

Physical therapy and chiropractic treatments can help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. Physical therapists are specifically trained in providing manual therapy, exercise programs, and rehabilitation for radiating lower back pain. When treating sciatica, physical therapy can help provide symptom relief, promote healing of the underlying cause and prevent recurrences and flare-ups.

The goals of physical therapy in treating the signs and symptoms of sciatica are to:

  • Restore pain-free functional movement patterns

  • Relieve lower back, buttock, thigh, and leg pain

  • Reduce muscle spasm

  • Restore function of the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint

  • Improve mobility of the lower body

If you are experiencing sciatic pain, contact the team at Albany Chiropractic and Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment.