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A 40-year-old member asked:

How do sports fitness trainers treat lumbar sciatica?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Chintan Sampat
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 18 years experience
Traction + Core: Most physical therapists and fitness trainers will use lumbar traction, stretching, and strengthening of the core muscles (in the back and abdominal regions) to help improve the symptoms of lumbar sciatica.
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery 40 years experience
Varies: There is probably some variation among trainers, but most would likely work on aerobic fitness, flexibility and core strengthening exercises. She or he may also adjust the program depending on how acute and severe the pain is, your age, your fitness, your tolerance to new exercise.
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Specializes in Pediatrics
Consider seeing a physical therapist as well for information on proper alignment. Trainers do vary and not all are well informed on how to help rehab and train back problems. Keeping neutral spine and proper alignment is crucial to healing and strengthening without further injury.
Jan 3, 2012
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery 40 years experience
Provided original answer
Agree that physical therapist do have more specific training than trainers, but the question specifically asked about trainers.
Jan 3, 2012
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 17 years experience
Teach you Exercises: Typically core strengthening exercises are the best to help relieve pressure and forces in the spine. I would suspect that the athletic trainer will work on these with you. Unlikely besides exercises and stretching will they be able to offer more. Sometimes this is all you need.

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Last updated Jul 8, 2014

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