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While sciatica does not always require physical therapy treatments, they can help relieve your pain and speed up the healing process. Because of this, it is in your best interest to consult with a physical therapist before symptoms become too severe. How can physical therapy help me? In a study published by Spine, a respected medical journal, physical therapy treatments for sciatica pain were seen to be a highly effective option. When a patient begins their physical therapy sessions early enough, they are able to eliminate their pain much more quickly. Additionally, physical therapy is much more budget-friendly for the average person, especially when symptoms are addressed early. This study found that over a one-year period, people who had taken 10 sessions of physical therapy had better results for their sciatic pain than those who were only given guidelines for treatment. The authors attributed the cost-effectiveness of the physical therapy approach in part to using it as a first line of defense against sciatic pain and back pain. When physical therapy treatments are performed at the start, the need for expensive diagnostic tests or invasive surgeries typically becomes unnecessary. HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR MY SCIATICA PAINS? INSIDE : • How Can I Get Started With Dresher Physical Therapy? • Simple Tips For Shoveling Snow (continued from outside)
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When should I see a physical therapist? A good rule of thumb is to come in for a comprehensive evaluation as soon as you begin to notice sciatic pains – from there, your physical therapist can let you know what the best course of action will be. Sciatica symptoms may include a dull ache, shooting pains down your buttock or leg, or even pins/needles or numbness into your calf or foot. If pain goes from dull to severe, that is a strong indication that physical therapy intervention is needed. The severity of pain you feel can change depending on how compressed your sciatic nerve becomes. The more compressed it is, the more painful it will be. Severe pain, chronic pain, or persistent numbness or weakness along one side of the body that doesn’t seem to go away are all signs that physical therapy is needed. Incontinence may also occur as an indication that your sciatica is getting worse – if your sciatic nerve becomes compressed in the area that controls your bladder and/or bowel function, you may lose control of those functions. If you are living with sciatica, or you think you may be experiencing sciatica symptoms, contact Dresher Physical Therapy today to discover how we can help.
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