Sciatica is an extremely painful disease and one often treated by active and passive forms of physical therapy. But in addition to traditional therapy to the affected area, Far Infrared Ray (FIR) treatments may also be quite effective. Here’s how.
Sciatica is named for this condition’s pressure on the sciatic nerve, which occurs due to hip muscles placing undue pressure on this major nerve that traverses the full length of the body. The often debilitating pain that results can be felt in the back and all the way down the leg to the foot, making it difficult for patients to walk or function normally.
Treatments for Sciatica
Traditional physical therapy treatments include exercises for strengthening and stretching the gluteus, thighs and back muscles. This decreases the risk of injury and helps promote proper posture in the person suffering from sciatica. Sciatica often causes improper alignment of the spine due to doubling over or favoring one side of the body, a natural response to pain. After exercise of the affected areas, a series of stretching exercises helps to relax muscles that are putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.
In addition, passive therapies that involve massage, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and ultrasound are also frequently employed. Massage soothes cramps and relaxes nerves and ligaments. Ultrasound uses sound waves to aid in healing the affected areas and making the muscles less stiff and inflexible. The same concept is at work with TENS; the premise is that controlled electrical stimulation decreases muscle spasms. TENS can also be effective in managing pain by releasing endorphins into the system. Most of these treatments result in temporarily alleviating pain but rarely provide more permanent relief.
A newer form of treatment includes FIR therapy. Infrared rays help the sciatica sufferer by improving circulation and gently heating muscles so they become more relaxed and flexible. This should also relieve pressure against the sciatic nerve.
An easy way to administer FIR therapy is through use of FIT Bodywraps®. Because the wrap system can be strategically placed to directly affect the areas experiencing pain and used with FIT Booster Spray, which intensifies the treatment, those suffering from sciatica can experience immediate, and often long-lasting, results.
FIT Bodywraps® are ideal to use as a form of passive therapy immediately following strengthening and stretching exercises. Because the treatment is self-administered, it frees up time for the physical therapist to attend to other patients while the sciatica sufferer relaxes in the soothing infrared heat of the wrap.
For physical therapists who are looking for unique ways to relieve the pain of sciatica, FIT Bodywraps® may be the ideal solution. FIR has long been used as therapy for a variety of ailments and it makes sense to incorporate this technology into a sciatica treatment plan.