While many people believe that sciatica is caused by compression of a nerve in the low back, it is actually chemical irritation around the nerve that produces the pain.
Sciatica can be caused by problems in multiple areas of the low back and pelvis. Physical therapy can reduce the irritation of the nerves around a herniated disc, joints of the spine, or muscles that are causing sciatica. Physical therapy for sciatica pain works by reducing the inflammation and pressure around the nerves, through stretching, manipulation and stabilization exercises. Nerve mobility exercises help to reduce irritation and help the nerve glide normally, reducing the pain of sciatica.