When I graduated from Physical Therapy school 20 years ago there were 3 indisputable facts:
- The brain stayed the same throughout your life.
- The disks in your spine never healed.
- Nerves could not regenerate.
Oh, what a difference 20 years can make. Research has taught us:
- The brain can make new pathways and even repair itself.
- Disks in your spine DO heal!
- Nerves often regenerate AND your body can form new nerves.
These 3 factors are critical in our understanding of how to treat sciatica in 2020.
You see, the sciatic nerve is the big nerve that travels down the back of your thigh before splitting just above your knee to cover your calf area. Along the way there are many places the sciatic nerve can have pressure put on it or get stuck.
The sciatic nerve is like a long hose that starts in your low back and goes down into your toes. The information that is sent through the nerve is like the water flowing through the hose. If the hose gets “kinked” it becomes more difficult for the information to travel down along the hose.
This can result in pain, tight muscles, feelings of numbness or tingling, difficulty walking, difficulty sitting, or inability to sleep due to not being able to find a relieving position.
Sciatica pain brings many people to my door as they are looking for a way to be able to do what they want to do without this constant pain. Some people travel for work and have become afraid to travel because they don’t know if they can even make it through the airport. Some people are teachers who can’t stand as needed to teach their students. I have worked with engineers who are unable to focus on their work due to pain with sitting.
As you can see the sciatic nerve can affect many different aspects of life and each person may have a different limitation placed on them. How can this be if it is the same nerve that is being affected?
Well, the sciatic nerve travels a long path and different people get a “kink” in different areas of the hose. That is why a complete discussion and evaluation of your symptoms is so very important. There is not one way to treat the sciatic nerve that works for everyone.
However, there is one specific way that will work for you. We just need to uncover the truth behind your sciatic nerve pain and understand the treatment path that will work for you. Every BODY is different and everybody deserves to be treated in the best way that works for them. Not for your neighbor, family member, or the way Dr. Google recommends.
If you are ready to start finding specific treatments that will work for you and your body, we are here to be your guides along that path. PT4EB was designed to offer you the time, space, and one-on-one care to focus on your body and your goals.