Sciatica

If you have a tingling, burning pain in one leg, it’s time to seek medical attention for your sciatica symptoms. Call Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy today to schedule your appointment or book online.
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Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy

Pittsburgh's Personalized, Results-Based Physical Therapy Center, located in Bethel Park, PA

You may have Sciatica if you have a tingling or burning sensation down one leg or across your buttocks, or if it hurts to stand and walk after you’ve been sitting. At Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy, Joe Agnello employs a holistic hands-on one-on-one approach to reduce your sciatic pain, rehabilitate your spine to reduce sciatica symptoms and prevent future issues. If you live in or near Bethel Park and are dealing with pain associated with sciatica, now’s the time to book an appointment at Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy.

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FAQs on Sciatica:

By Joseph Agnello, PT, Cert. MDT

 

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom that causes leg pain due to the irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. It might feel like a rough leg cramp, or it can be an excruciating pain that makes standing or sitting nearly impossible. Sciatica can occur suddenly or develop gradually over time. It can manifest in a variety of symptoms, like: 

  • Radiating pain on one side of the leg or buttocks
  • A burning, tingling, radiating, or sharp leg pain
  • Weakness or numbness in the leg, foot, or toes
  • Sudden pain leading to difficulty in walking or standing up

 

What causes Sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when one or more of your lower spinal nerves (specifically the sciatic nerve) is being pinched or compressed in your lower back. The sciatic nerve passes through your spinal column at your lower back, reaches across each buttock, and travels down both legs. Being the largest nerve in the human body, a variety of postures and physical conditions can lead to its compression. When you have sciatica, the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed by, most commonly, a herniated disc or bone spur. Although anyone can develop sciatica, the chances of witnessing symptoms of sciatica are typically higher in those who: 

  • Perform extorted physical work like repeatedly twisting, lifting, or reaching for something at work
  • Have spend a lot of time on an office desk and have a sedentary lifestyle
  • Are Pregnant
  • Are Overweight
  • Are prone to diabetes or currently diabetic
  • At high risk of degenerative disc disease
  • Encountered an accidental fall

 

How is Sciatica diagnosed and treated?

At Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy, Joe Agnello may go through your complete medical history, including a review of your symptoms and a physical exam. Several tests like the straight-leg-raise test may be performed to diagnose the symptoms of sciatica. This test can help pinpoint the affected nerves and determine if there is a problem with one of your discs. Depending on what is being found, Joe Agnello may recommend further testing, like X-rays, Nerve Conduction Velocity studies and Myelograms. 

After diagnosing sciatica, Joe Agnello may develop a customized physical therapy exercise program, suitable for your unique needs. The goal of the treatment is to increase mobility and decrease pain, which often includes manual therapy, and medications to reduce inflammations. He may also give you therapeutic exercises to support the spine and reduce your risk of future bouts of sciatica. Joe Agnello would often recommend stretching to reduce sciatic nerve compression and improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles and the spine. 

To manage pain, Joe Agnello may perform trigger point therapy to manipulate the deep tissues that get stiff and sore. He may also recommend  that you use a foam roller or tennis ball to massage the area in between appointments. 

 

Can you prevent Sciatica?

If you’re at risk for developing sciatica, do not worry. There are ways where you can prevent it from developing and turning into a chronic condition. During your appointment with Joe Agnello, he may provide educational materials and recommends to lead a more ergonomic lifestyle, like engaging in regular exercise and focusing on core and lower back strength. He may also suggest posture improvement, especially for patients who have to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.

He may also advise you several ways to improve your workplace ergonomics, like: 

  • Lifting things with the legs instead of the back
  • Carrying heavy objects close to your body
  • Avoiding lifting and twisting at the same time
  • Straight motion while moving up and down
  • Using good postures for sitting and standing to relieve pressure on the lower back
  • Regular exercise to strengthen the muscles

If you have a tingling, burning pain in one leg, it’s time to seek medical attention for your sciatica symptoms. Call Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy today to schedule your appointment or book online.

 

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