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Sciatic nerve pain (sciatica) can disturb sleep and limit mobility. But don’t jump to the conclusion that the nerve is the direct cause of your pain and that nothing will help.

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. It originates in the lower back, travels across the buttock and hip to the lower leg. The cause can be a herniated disk, bony issues of the vertebrae, or compression of the nerve from tightness or inflammation of the muscles around the sciatic nerve. The pain from sciatica can be felt anywhere from the back to the calf area and can vary widely in intensity and frequency. It can also cause numbness.

What to do about it?

Seek medical care if symptoms don’t go away in a week or so. Your care provider can assess if you have a herniated disk or other issues requiring medical treatment. They can also diagnose other causes of the pain such as muscle strain, bursitis, or ITB syndrome that can mimic symptoms of sciatica.

Therapy can effectively treat the cause if a herniated disc and other factors have been ruled out. A therapist will evaluate your posture and mobility. They will give you targeted stretches to perform and use manual therapy to relieve muscle spasms and pain.   A stretching program to perform at home can relieve pain and help prevent a recurrence.

Learn more about Therapy Services at Virginia Gay Hospital on our web page.

Brenda Werning

Therapy Services

Virginia Gay Hospital