Physio Rehabilitation for Sciatica

Sciatica Physiotherapy Treatment | Your Story Physiotherapy Sunshine

Are you experiencing the sharp, shooting pain of sciatica? Physio rehabilitation may be the key to finding relief and improving your quality of life.

Sciatica is a common condition that affects the sciatic nerve, causing pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back and legs. Physiotherapy can help manage the symptoms of sciatica and improve mobility through targeted exercises and therapies.

If you’re struggling with sciatica, physio rehabilitation can be a crucial component of your treatment plan. By working with a physiotherapist, you can address the underlying causes of your pain and develop a personalised program to help you regain strength and flexibility.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is an expansive term that refers to pain that runs down the back of the buttocks and leg to the feet and toes. Pain is mainly caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve (usually at the buttock level) or the nerve roots in your lower back that give rise to the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica, contrary to popular belief, does not always involve pain in the lower back. You can experience symptoms, including leg pain in your lower limb, without experiencing any back pain. 

Common symptoms of sciatica

  • It may be harsh, feel like electric shocks, pain or numbness.
  • You may feel tingling and weakness in your leg, ankle and foot.
  • The pain is usually felt in the buttocks and lower back, but it can also spread to the hamstring, calf, and foot.
  • Symptoms are usually one-sided rather than involving both legs. In rare circumstances, you may get leg pain in both legs.
  • It is possible to experience lower back pain.
  • Coughing or sneezing, changing from sitting to standing, and prolonged sitting, standing, or lying down can all increase these symptoms.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of sciatica, it is important to see a physiotherapist to get a diagnosis and treatment plan. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the condition from worsening.

Sciatica Physiotherapy Treatment | Your Story Physiotherapy Sunshine

5 Common causes of sciatica

Trade professionals and manual labourers are more prone to sciatica due to the nature of their jobs. Sciatica pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

1. Trauma

A fall, accident, or other injury can damage the sciatic nerve or the structures around it, leading to sciatica. 

2. A herniated disc

This is the most common cause of sciatica. Discs are the cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. If a disc herniates, the soft inner material can bulge out and press on the sciatic nerve. This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the leg.

3. Spinal stenosis

This is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Spinal stenosis can be caused by arthritis, bone spurs, or tumours.

4. Piriformis syndrome

This is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, which is located deep in the buttocks, irritates the sciatic nerve.

5. Spondylolisthesis

This is a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it. This can irritate the sciatic nerve.


Physiotherapy treatment for sciatica

  • Manual therapy

    This includes techniques such as massage, mobilisation, and manipulation to improve flexibility and reduce pain.

  • Therapeutic exercise

    A physiotherapist will teach you specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your lower back, hips, and legs. These exercises will help to improve your posture, core stability, and overall function.

  • Education

    A physiotherapist will also educate you about sciatica and how to prevent future flare-ups. This may include information on proper lifting techniques, maintaining good posture, and avoiding activities that aggravate your symptoms.

Tips for preventing sciatica

  • Maintain good posture: When standing, keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in a line. When sitting, ensure your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Strengthen your core muscles: Strong core muscles help to support your spine and take pressure off your lower back.
  • Take breaks: If you have a job that requires you to sit or stand for long periods, take breaks to get up and move around every 20-30 minutes.
  • Lift properly: When lifting heavy objects, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Do not lift with your back.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can put extra strain on your spine and increase your risk of sciatica.


Sciatica Physiotherapy Treatment | Your Story Physiotherapy Sunshine

Final thoughts

If you are a trade professional or manual labourer and you are experiencing sciatica pain, it is important to see a physiotherapist to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment options.

Physiotherapy can be a safe and effective way to relieve pain and improve function. 

By working with a qualified physiotherapist, you can address the root cause of your pain and improve your overall quality of life.  

Book a Free Phone Assessment today, and one of our experienced physiotherapists will tailor a rehabilitation program to fit your needs.

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