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Doctor insights on: Sciatica Physical Therapy Protocol

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Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Can physical therapy cure sciatica? Is it possible to get rid of my sciatica with physical therapy? .

Can physical therapy cure sciatica? Is it possible to get rid of my sciatica with physical therapy? .

Cure, Unlikely...: Sciatica can be managed effectively and can be relieved in a vast majority of people, but it will always require diligence on your part for nsaids, exercise, stretching and weight control/loss. For those still having issues it may require treatments (injections, surgery, etc) to maintain relief as well.

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Low Back Pain (Definition)

Low back pain is pain that occurs in the back above the buttock area and below the ribs. Low back pain can be sharp, dull, intermittent or constant. Pain can be at rest or associated with activity. Back pain can also be accompanied with pain that shoots or radiates down into the lower extremities or legs which is frequently ...Read more


Dr. Mark Weston Dr. Weston
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
27 years in practice
University of Nebraska College of Medicine
2
Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
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What is the best treatment for sciatica- injections or physical therapy?

What is the best treatment for sciatica- injections or physical therapy?

Hard to Say: Injections will give you pain relief early, but PT can be just as helpful but will take time to get relief. There is new research coming out that when you are in a lot of pain, you're body actually stops you from performing exercises so that you may not benefit from PT initially. So we believe that if you at least improve your pain first, you can then proceed with the exercise therapy programs.

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Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
4

4
Does anyone know the physical therapy that people with this sciatica do?

Does anyone know the physical therapy that people with this sciatica do?

Therapies: Typically core strengthening exercises are the best to help relieve pressure and forces in the spine. I would try and google some or look them up on youtube to see descriptions. If you can do them yourself, wonderful otherwise ask your doctor to get a referral to a good physical therapist for further assistance. Other Therapies include Spine Injections that use steroidal medications.

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Dr. Jay Rosenfeld Dr. Rosenfeld
Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine
28 years in practice
Boston University School of Medicine
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What is the superior treatment for sciatica--injections or physical therapy?

What is the superior treatment for sciatica--injections or physical therapy?

Adjunctive: Injections can be very helpful adjunctive treatments for sciatica but in my opinion they should be combined with a good physical therapy program. I find that the two together work better than either one separately however, depending on the situation I will often use pt alone as a first attempt and add an injection if the pt is not helping. Not everyone agrees with me on this however.

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Dr. Bahman Omrani Dr. Omrani
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Which treatment for sciatica--injections or physical therapy is the very best?

Which treatment for sciatica--injections or physical therapy is the very best?

Integrate: The cause for the sciatica should be delineated first. Physical therapy is an important first step in most cases. In more severe or refractory cases, injection is indicated. In my opinion, the combination of injections and physical therapy is likely to be more effective than either one alone.

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Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
7

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Is physical therapy possible with degenerative disc disease and sciatica injury?

Is physical therapy possible with degenerative disc disease and sciatica injury?

Yes It is possible: Injections will give you pain relief early, but PT can be just as helpful but will take time to get relief. There is new research coming out that when you are in a lot of pain, you're body actually stops you from performing exercises so that you may not benefit from PT initially. So we believe that if you at least improve your pain first, you can then proceed with the exercise therapy programs.

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Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
8

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What are my options for sciatica after an epidural did no work. I have tried physical therapy, accupuncture.?

What are my options for sciatica after an epidural did no work. I have tried physical therapy, accupuncture.?

May Want to Repeat: Epidural injection. There is a synergistic effect with injections in which you may receive more relief when 2 or more injections are used together. If you are not improving even after the 2nd injection, I would consider other options like radio frequency ablation or even stem cell therapy has shown good results. Otherwise it may be a trip to the surgeon to discuss your options.

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Dr. Laurence Badgley Dr. Badgley
General Practice
49 years in practice
Yale University School of Medicine
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27 year old athlete with sciatica? I'm a 27 year old athlete that has been dealing with some hamstring pain and what I believe might be sciatica for a few months. After some rest and physical therapy the hamstring has felt better, although it still hurts

27 year old athlete with sciatica? I'm a 27 year old athlete that has been dealing with some hamstring pain and what I believe might be sciatica for a few months. After some rest and physical therapy the hamstring has felt better, although it still hurts

Presacral plexus: Chronic sciatica in a late 20's female is often found in association with an hypermobile sacroiliac joint, which can result from acute mechanical trauma, childbirth, and/or joint hypermobility syndrome. Chronic sciatica probably derives from impingement of the presacral plexus, the "headwaters" region of the sciatic nerve. The presacral plexus overlies the ventral aspect of the sacroiliac joint.

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Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
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When to start physical therapy for sciatica and lower back pain, while in pain or wait until the pain is reduced?

When to start physical therapy for sciatica and lower back pain, while in pain or wait until the pain is reduced?

Not Known: Nothing can work fast, however if PT can relieve pressure on the spine where the nerve is getting pinched gets relief than pain relief can occur. If you are not improving after 2-3 weeks with regular therapy sessions, I would suggest seeing a pain/spine specialist to see if a cortisone injection might be helpful.

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Dr. Jay Rosenfeld Dr. Rosenfeld
Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine
28 years in practice
Boston University School of Medicine
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How fast does physical therapy take to work for sciatica/s.I. Joint pain?

How fast does physical therapy take to work for sciatica/s.I. Joint pain?

See below: No correct answer here. Everyone is different and everyone's healing ability is different. In general, I would expect to see some improvement after about 10-15 pt sessions.

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Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
12
Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Can physical therapy help with my lower back pain and the sciatica in my left leg?

Can physical therapy help with my lower back pain and the sciatica in my left leg?

Hard to Say: Injections will give you pain relief early, but PT can be just as helpful but will take time to get relief. There is new research coming out that when you are in a lot of pain, you're body actually stops you from performing exercises so that you may not benefit from PT initially. So we believe that if you at least improve your pain first, you can then proceed with the exercise therapy programs.

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Dr. Zach Patrick Dr. Patrick
Emergency Medicine
9 years in practice
Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
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Will physical therapy improve the posture of my body (my pelvis is tilted and I limp, because of severe sciatica and discopathy....no scoliosis!)?

Will physical therapy improve the posture of my body (my pelvis is tilted and I limp, because of severe sciatica and discopathy....no scoliosis!)?

It can: However it will need to be something you continue after the therapy has ended. If you stop doing the exercises then you will lose the benefits in the long run.

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Dr. Chan Hwang Dr. Hwang
Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine
23 years in practice
Loma Linda University School of Medicine
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Can you tell me about physical therapy for low back pain?

Can you tell me about physical therapy for low back pain?

First see an MD/DO.: You will need a diagnosis and referral to see a physical therapist. Consult a physiatrist who specializes in spine care to get a specific diagnosis. Then based on the specific cause of your back pain, the doctor can coordinate care (including specific physical therapy modalities and therapeutic exercise) for optimal outcome.

Dr. Larry Armstrong Dr. Armstrong
Neurosurgery
23 years in practice
University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Aquatic physical therapy - how helpful is it for low back pain?

Very: I like aquatic therapy for my patients with back pain because it allows them to get in the water and exercise while diminishing their own body weight and it's effect on the spine.

Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
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I have acute chronic low back pain. My orthopedic said to go for physical therapy instead of injections. Is there a limit to epidural injections?

I have acute chronic low back pain. My orthopedic said to go for physical therapy instead of injections. Is there a limit to epidural injections?

Yes and No: There are no limits to how many epidural injections you can have. That said repeated steroid based injections put your body at risk for other medical issues down the road. I am assuming based on your age your doctor wanted you to try a more conservative approach first and that is a good model to follow. However if your pain persists after a good physical therapy trial, consider the injections.

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Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
19

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I have severe low back pain and have 2 bulging discs in T11 &t12 I have had 13 facet inj which have not helped and physical therapy not helped either?

Hard to Say: Without evaluating you fully what to do. Recommend if you are not getting relief, seek another opinion. See a Pain/Spine specialist that is fellowship trained and has understanding of the musculoskeletal system like a physiatrist.

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Dr. Qamar Khan Dr. Khan
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
20

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What is more effective for low back pain and joint pain; physical therapy or chiropractic?

What is more effective for low back pain and joint pain; physical therapy or chiropractic?

Depends: Both specialists overlap quite a bit. Just depends on what you are comfortable with. Physical therapy is now doing a lot of manipulation therapies and vice versa chiropractors are noting the benefit of active exercise therapy for their patients as well. Often times seeing an sports medicine physician might be helpful since they have experience with both care types to guide you.

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Dr. Qamar Khan
1,071 Doctors shared insights

Sciatica (Definition)

A condition that results in pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It results from injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower spine and runs down the ...Read more


Dr. Jay Rosenfeld
3,576 Doctors shared insights

Physical Therapy (Definition)

Physical therapy can provide back exercises to relieve tension on discs and nerves in the back in order ...Read more