The pain of sciatica tends to last about four to six weeks on average, but you could feel numbness in the area for several days after the pain subsides. Often, sciatica will go away with a little rest. However, people who have pain that lasts more than six weeks should seek professional medical help.
There are plenty of people who will end up dealing with sciatica. One medical study reports that up to 40% of Americans will experience sciatica in their lifetime. It’s also common for sciatica to become chronic, and this typically happens if you have an underlying issue that’s causing it. Of all the people who have sciatica, up to 30% of them will develop chronic sciatica.
A physical therapist can help you learn what issues can cause sciatica to become chronic. They can also offer treatments that can reduce how long your sciatica lasts.
These issues can affect how long sciatica lasts
The lower back is a complex part of the human musculoskeletal system that physical therapists are trained to treat. Your therapist can use their knowledge and a thorough physical exam to pinpoint issues that are affecting how long your sciatica lasts.
Some of the issues your physical therapist could find include:
- Herniated lumbar discs
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Lower back muscle strains
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint osteoarthritis
How do physical therapists treat chronic sciatica?
After identifying the issue that’s causing your chronic sciatica, your physical therapist will take steps to treat it. The most important of these steps is building you a custom therapy plan. Typically, such plans will include many therapy techniques, and they’ll be geared toward treating your specific symptoms and underlying issue(s). Your plan can also be built to help reduce how long your sciatica symptoms last.
A few techniques that may be included in your therapy plan are:
- Active Release Techniques® designed to ease tension in lower back soft tissue.
- Therapeutic exercises intended to strengthen the muscles that support your spine.
- Graston Technique® that focuses on breaking down scar tissue left behind by old or healing soft tissue injuries.
Find treatment for acute and chronic sciatica at SOL PT
Are you worried about how long your sciatica has lasted? Our physical therapists at SOL Physical Therapy are ready and willing to help you get effective treatment for your sciatica symptoms. Our specialists can evaluate you to determine if you have any underlying issues causing your sciatica. Additionally, we’re experienced at building personalized therapy plans designed to reduce your symptoms and address underlying conditions.
Sciatica symptoms making it tougher for you to leave home? No problem! Our team offers virtual therapy sessions that you can use to get help right in your own home.
Contact our team today for more information about how we can treat sciatica or to schedule an initial appointment.