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Physical Therapy for Sciatica in Bethesda MD

Sciatica is term used for a type of pain that can be felt along the sciatic nerve. The nerve runs from the lower back, right down through the buttocks, hamstrings and directly into the lower leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve found in the human body.

Sciatica is unfortunately typically misdiagnosed, which can result in non-responsive treatment. The primary nerve that travels from your leg to your lower back is your sciatic nerve. Pinching or irritation of this particular nerve can cause severe leg pain, numbness, tingling or weakness, which is known as sciatica. Physical therapy in Bethesda may be the best answer for you.

What are the symptoms of Sciatica?

Sciatica is know to cause serious pain that typically starts within the lower back and spreads down through the buttocks, leg, and on some occasions, even the foot. The severity of the pain caused can vary between dull, to some what of an aching or burning sensation. Some individuals have also reported sharp shooting pains. Often time in cases of sciatica, no pain is actually felt in the back where the nerves originate, and the symptoms are only felt in the buttocks or let.

Sciatica is also known to cause a tingling sensation or even numbness or episodes of muscle weakness in the leg that is affected. It is imperative to seek treatment if these symptoms occur as long-term nerve compression can result in permanent damage to the nerve and its ability to function correctly. Frightfully in these cases your painful symptoms may become permanent if professional advice isn’t sought out.

One or multiple of the sensations below may occur due to Sciatica:

Pain in the buttocks or leg that becomes increasingly worse when sitting.
Tingling or burning sensation down the leg.
Numbness and even weakness in the foot or leg.
A continuous painful sensation on one side the calf.
A shooting pain when trying to stand.

Most common causes of sciatica:

A herniated disc can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve, thus creating Sciatica. Along with herniated discs, joint inflammation, and compression of the nerve from arthritic-type growths and even a locked facet joint within the lower part of the spine can typically cause sciatica.

Leg pain can be due to a variety of reasons. Pain can be due to a leg injury or it may be from your lower back and travel down the sciatic nerve to your leg. The primary nerve that travels from your leg and back is the sciatic nerve.

Often times sciatic nerve compression originates in the buttocks. This is because the sciatic nerve runs directly underneath one of the buttock muscles called the Piriformis Muscle. Tightness in this muscle can be caused by something as simple as sitting for long periods, especially in a chair that is not ergonomically correct.

In cases of sciatica where the nerve compression is coming from the piriformis muscle, cortisone injections or epidural injections in the spine are usually not effective for relieving pain, or are only relieving for a short amount of time.

If an injury is sustained that causes pinching or irritation of your sciatic nerve it can cause extreme pain in your leg, typical of sciatica. It may happen due to the general wear and tear, along with any sudden pressure on the small discs that provide padding to the vertebrae of your lower spine.

There are variety of causes of sciatica, however the most common are:

  • Spine degeneration
  • Lumbar bulging disc
  • Tightness in the buttock muscles on the affected side
  • Injury to the facet joint (joints of the spine)

Other causes include:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Sacroiliac dysfunction
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipping of the vertebrae)

Individuals can become more vulnerable to sciatica between 30 to 50 years old. It may happen due to general spine wear and tear (known as spondylosis) or if they have sustained a traumatic injury that suddenly applies pressure on the lumbar discs.

There is a solution

There are many solutions to help treat and ease the pain of sciatica. If you wish to avoid expensive medical treatment and a concoction of medications, physical therapy if often the way forward. Manual therapy to the affected musculature, when combined with mobilization of the affected joints and specific rehabilitative stretches and exercises are effective methods in helping to treat the pain associated with sciatica.

If you are experiencing pain throughout your lower back, through to your buttocks and/or legs, or suspect that you may have any of the above symptoms of sciatica, contact Bethesda Metro Physical Therapy Today!

Monday10:00am - 8:00pm
Wednesday10:00am - 8:00pm
Thursday10:00am - 8:00pm
Friday11:00am - 5:00pm
Physical Therapy Bethesda MD Office Bethesda Metro Physical Therapy logo for footer

Bethesda Metro Physical Therapy
6931 Arlington Road Suite T200A
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 907-2659


"After several weeks of therapy I no longer have the knee pain and can now tie my shoes while kneeling, something I hadn't been able to do in quite awhile."

- Catherine

"Very good service and everyone are easy to work with. They are very personal. They will also see that your problem is well taken care of."

- Brenda

"I been coming here for 8 weeks now and sense the first therapy I feel less pain. They all work really hard at this office. With their help I know I will be the best I can be at the end. I recommend them!"

- Miguel

Physical Therapy Bethesda MD Office Bethesda Metro Physical Therapy logo for footer

6931 Arlington Road Suite T200A

Bethesda, MD 20814