Sciatica is one of the most painful and disabling lower back problems. While this kind of pain can certainly be worrying, it’s a prevalent condition that responds well to conservative treatments. At Advance Physical Therapy, we utilize effective treatments to get you back on your feet, one of them being the McKenzie Method. Continue reading to discover how the McKenzie Method can help with sciatica pain. 

What is Sciatica? 

Sciatica presents as nerve pain that starts in the lower spine and radiates as it travels through the hips, buttocks, and down the back of the leg. Sciatica symptoms can include shooting pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs. Sciatica can stem from spinal trauma, bone spurs, or tight swollen muscles in the buttocks. Some of the risk factors for sciatica include:

  • Age-related changes to the spine. 
  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes.
  • Repetitive twisting movements. 
  • Prolonged sitting. 

Can The McKenzie Method Help Sciatica Pain?

Treatment for sciatica will largely depend on the severity of your condition and the length of your symptoms. The McKenzie Method is a broad approach to the rehabilitation of conditions affecting the spine. Our physical therapists are trained to assess and manage dysfunctions of the spine and teach preventative care to empower patients to control their symptoms between treatment sessions. This method is based on an individual’s response to repeated movements, and the exercises are designed to realign displaced intervertebral discs and strengthen surrounding muscles to prevent further injury. Here are some example McKenzie exercises that can improve sciatica pain. As always, please discuss with an Advance Physical Therapy team member before starting any exercises at home.

  • Prone Lying – This simple exercise can help treat a sudden onset of sciatica. All you need to do is lie on your stomach and relax for a few minutes to prepare for the prop-up exercise. 
  • Prone Prop Up – Try the prone prop-up exercise on your stomach and prop yourself up onto your elbows. Hold this position for a few moments and relax.  
  • Press Ups – Begin in the prop up position with your hands flat on the ground under your shoulders and elbows bent. Keep the hips relaxed and use your arms to press your shoulders and upper back up. Hold this pose for a moment, then return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for ten repetitions. 

Our team will evaluate your condition and determine if the McKenzie Method will benefit your sciatica. 

Contact Us

If you have disabling sciatica pain, you may benefit from the McKenzie Method. At Advance Physical Therapy, our team is trained in this method and will create a routine with exercises to help your pain and monitor your progress. Be sure to contact us today to schedule an appointment!