Physical Therapy for Sciatica in Washington DC

At Release Physical Therapy, our experienced therapists conduct a thorough assessment to identify the underlying causes of your sciatica and create a personalized treatment plan to promote healing and alleviate pain.

Release Physical Therapy

Release is an award-winning physical therapy practice in Washington, DC. Release Physical Therapy provides the best in comprehensive, evidence-based treatments and personalized care. Our physical therapists use hands-on techniques and the latest technology to relieve pain, improve function, and enhance health and wellness. We welcome the chance to guide you on the road to better health through our personalized and integrated approach to wellness.

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Washington DC Physical Therapy for Sciatic Nerve Pain

At Release Physical Therapy both of our Washington DC offices and Virginia location treat patients with Sciatica pain. Sciatica, also known as sciatic nerve pain, is a condition characterized by pain that follows the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back, travels through the buttocks, and extends down the back of each leg. Irritation or compression of the nerve can occur at any point along its pathway, leading to symptoms that may radiate into the buttocks, back of the thigh, and even down to the ankle or foot. Sciatica pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, burning sensation. It may even feel like a sudden jolt or electric shock. The pain can worsen when coughing, sneezing, or sitting for extended periods. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of the body. Sciatica is a common condition affecting approximately 40% of individuals in the United States at some point in their lives.

paul duffy
paul duffy
Best PT experience I’ve had thus far, and I’ve had quite a few. As a fitness professional and weekend foot soldier cyclist, I demand a lot from my body. Steph helped me restore stability and quality range of motion after my shoulder surgery and did far ahead of schedule. She’s the perfect balance of tough but caring, and above all very good at what she does.
jared hyman
jared hyman
The single best PT experience I’ve ever had.
Drew Fisher
Drew Fisher
Beautiful clinic and the therapist are highly skilled and knowledgeable. I always recommend Release to friends and family.
Phillip E
Phillip E
During a trip of mine in August 2021 I came to release physical therapy from NY. The majority of my therapy was dry needling and some post needling muscle re-education. I received dry needling mainly from Bettie Kruger. Mrs Kruger is a very efficient dry needler. Ive been to quite a few places and she definitely knows what she is doing. The function and effectiveness of dry needling is heavily dependent on the skill of the clinician. There are physical therapists in the D.C. area that I've been to first hand, who although they are certified in dry needling they haven't a clue what they're doing. Similar to some people who have a barbers license and still don't know how to cut hair. Aside from her skill in anatomy and needling Bettie is energetic, she doesn't cut corners or try to cheat you out of your time. She's not lazy. You'll get about 53 to 55 minutes for the hour. She is not against patient oriented care, meaning she is open and responsive to patient input and requests. Patient centered care is an extremely useful approach that helps relieve and calm down some of the psychologically induced brain and pain connections one may be dealing with. She doesn't just dictate to you what is going to happen because she is the therapist and youre the patient. I had a few sessions with Mrs.Simon, not as many as with Bettie. I'm pretty sure id have a very similar review and experience of her. Oh yeah they have a little blue tooth speaker playing music, they'll even let you change the music, turn it down or even turn it off if you want. The bathroom was very clean, had a cool automatic light as well as faucet water. The hand soap smelled good too. The office manager Mrs Gonzalez was competent in scheduling appointments and responding to emails. Shes nice, polite, soft spoken. Their Instagram is pretty cool and visually gives you some insight on what to expect. Oh yeah they do cupping, graston and from what I saw was ultra sound guided dry needling. Bettie's pretty good at feeling for the knots but it will be cool to see it in real time, meh. Alot of places in the d.c. region will give you a bunch of silly pictures or have some motionless photos that don't leave much to interpret. When you get to those places you ask yourself "what the".... Whether you're in need of a "touch up" from acute pain or in a slightly worse case of chronic or persistent pain. I wouldn't even waste my time looking around. I would just go to release PT especially compared to any other clinics/pts in the Maryland D.C area. I have some pretty not so nice things to say about other clinics.
Elisa Barnett
Elisa Barnett
Best physical therapist’s in the DC area!!! Personable, great staff, and an amazing massage therapist!!! Very clean & professional. Highly recommend!
Trip O'Connell
Trip O'Connell
I have had back and neck injuries for years, and the ladies at Release keep me in the game! They are miracle workers!

What is the best physical therapy for sciatica?

The treatment approach for sciatica can vary depending on the location of the nerve compression. If the compression is in the spine, our therapists may utilize manual techniques such as joint mobilization, manipulations, trigger point massage, dry needling, laser therapy, mckenzie mechanical diagnosis and therapy (MDT), postural training, active release technique (ART), maitland techniques and therapeutic exercises. These techniques aim to relieve nerve pressure, improve spinal mobility, and enhance overall function.

If the nerve compression is in the buttocks or extends down the leg, our therapists may employ techniques like trigger point massage, sacroiliac joint mobilizations, dry needling, laser therapy, shockwave therapy, active release technique (ART), Graston Technique, and therapeutic exercises. These methods target the muscles and structures in the buttocks and leg to reduce tension and alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve.

At Release Physical Therapy, our team of physical therapists will provide one-on-one care to ensure that you receive the highest quality treatment. You will always be seen by a doctor throughout your entire treatment, as we do not utilize physical therapist assistants or rehab techs.

How long does physical therapy take for sciatica?

The timeline for treatment typically varies depending on the severity of the cause of the nerve irritation. However, treatment usually lasts ~4-12 weeks, with a frequency of 1-2 visits a week, with adherence to treatment and necessary lifestyle changes for a full recovery.

Is physical therapy good for sciatica?

Physical therapy is one of the most effective conservative treatments for treatment of sciatica. The sooner you seek proper treatment, the more likely to address the cause of sciatica and avoid worsening or further complications of symptoms. At Release Physical Therapy we offer state-of-the-art equipment that we use in conjunction with traditional physical therapy to improve on healing time and outcomes.

Does physical therapy work for sciatica?

Yes, physical therapy is the most effective conservative treatment for sciatica. It can help alleviate pain, improve mobility, and strengthen the muscles that support the spine and hips.

At release physical therapy, we offer specialized treatments such as Graston, Trigger Point Dry Needling, shockwave therapy, Laser treatment, Posture and Ergonomic assessment, McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and Active Release Techniques (ART) among others. Our physical therapists work one-on-one with you, dedicating an hour each session to design a specific plan of care and treatments tailored to your needs. This personalized approach ensures that your sciatica is addressed in the most effective way possible, helping you to regain mobility and live pain-free.

Is physical therapy good for sciatic nerve pain?

Physical therapy is one of the most effective non-surgical solutions for sciatica. At Release Physical Therapy, our therapists will assist you in pinpointing and modifying the activities that contributed to your condition, thereby aiding in your recovery process. Our team utilizes a range of treatment techniques and advanced technologies to manage and reduce your pain and symptoms. Promptly seeking the right treatment can help tackle the underlying cause of sciatica and prevent the worsening or further complications of symptoms.

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Whether you’re an athlete that plays hard on the field, or a weekend warrior that plays hard in life, committing to a physical therapy program can help to keep you moving forward.
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Is it better to see a chiropractor or physical therapist for sciatica?

Both chiropractors and physical therapists can provide relief for sciatica, physical therapy is often recommended as the first line of treatment. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques and modalities to alleviate sciatica pain, improve mobility, and strengthen the muscles of the hips and spine. They also provide education on posture and body mechanics to prevent future episodes of sciatica. Physical therapy aims to address the root cause of the pain and provide long-term solutions, rather than just temporary relief.

What is the best exercise for sciatica?

The most effective exercise for sciatica largely depends on the location of the nerve compression. If the compression is in the lumbar spine, we often recommend the McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy Method ( MDT), specifically prone press-ups. However, if the nerve is compressed in the buttock or hamstring, we suggest sciatic nerve glides. This exercise aims to gently mobilize the nerve from the position where it’s being impinged, thereby reducing the pain radiating into the leg.

For optimal results, we advise our clients to incorporate both exercises into their routines!

Should you rest or exercise with sciatica pain?

While it may seem counterintuitive, complete rest is seldom the best approach when dealing with sciatica. Instead, modifying your activities to avoid those that exacerbate your pain is key. Maintaining movement is crucial, even if it means altering how you go about your day. For instance, if sitting intensifies your discomfort, we might suggest incorporating more standing time into your routine. The goal is to adjust your activities to minimize pain, not to eliminate activity altogether. At Release Physical Therapy, your therapist will work one-on-one with you to modify your activities not only to promote healing but also to keep you active. Remember, movement is a form of medicine.

What will make sciatica worse?

There are many things that can exacerbate sciatica symptoms, including:

  • Prolonged sitting: Sitting for a prolonged time can put pressure on the sciatic nerve causing increased pain.
  • Poor posture and body mechanics: especially while sitting or doing strenuous activities this can put additional strain on the lower back and sciatic nerve
  • Carrying things in your back pocket: This has been termed “ back pocket sciatica”. People who carry their wallets or cell phones in their back pockets then sit down with them in their pockets, this causes increased pressure through the buttock muscle which then affects the sciatic nerve.
  • Lack of exercise: A sedentary lifestyle, can lead to weakness in your hips, core, and back muscles which can put increased pressure on the spine and an increase in sciatic nerve symptoms
  • Obesity: Excess weight can put additional stress on the spine and its supporting structures, including the discs and nerves. This increased pressure can lead to compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the lower back, buttocks, and legs.


At Release Physical Therapy, we understand how debilitating sciatic nerve pain can be. It can limit your ability to engage in everyday activities, restrict your mobility, and even make travel uncomfortable due to prolonged sitting. This is why we are committed to helping you alleviate this pain and regain your quality of life. Each individualized needs are different and at Release Physical Therapy our skilled physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive assessment to get to the root cause of your problem. We will alleviate your current pain but also equip you with knowledge and exercises needed to prevent the pain from returning.

If you’re currently experiencing sciatica pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. You can schedule an appointment at either our downtown Washington, DC office, our West End/Foggy Bottom location or Tyson’s corner office. To book an appointment, simply give us a call or visit our website at to book online. We’re eager to help you on your journey to recovery!

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Release Physical Therapy


At Release Physical Therapy Washington, DC, we offer a full range of manual therapies, as well as both traditional and non-traditional techniques. We work one-on-one with our patients to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets their unique needs, conditions, wellness goals and fitness levels. Learn More

Active Release Technique ® (ART)

Massage and movement-based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

K-Laser ® Therapy

The use of specific wavelengths of light to improve healing time, pain reduction, increase circulation and decrease swelling.

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Needle treatment that decreases pain, increases range of motion and improves strength by inactivating myofascial trigger points.

ASTYM ® Therapy

Regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions.

Kineseo ® Taping Method

Taping technique that reduces muscular pain and inflammation, relaxes overused muscles, improves posture and movement awareness and enhances performance.

Running Assessment

Individualized biomechanical analysis designed to identify strength, gait, and alignment imbalances to decrease risk of injury and improve your current training program.

Functional Training

Exercise regimens that integrate multiple muscle groups, joints and the brain to prepare the body for everyday movement, athletics and other specialized physical activities.

Graston Technique ®

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization used to address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)

Rehabilitation therapy and performance training technique using a Personalized Tourniquet System® designed for BFR, to reduce atrophy and increase strength.

Shockwave Therapy

A non-invasive, office based treatment that utilizes acoustic waves to alleviate pain, promote tissue regeneration, and accelerate the healing process.

Massage Therapy

Manual manipulation of the soft tissues including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to relieve pain, improve circulation, and address specific musculoskeletal conditions.

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Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapist are accepting new patients.

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What Patients Are Saying

What Patients Say

"Dr. Simon's knowledge, expertise and patience have given me my life back. She spent more time discussing my injuries and recovery than both my doctor and an orthopedist." - L.J.

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Health & Safety


At Release Physical Therapy, there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our patients and staff during this unprecedented time. The Department of Homeland Security and state governments have deemed physical therapy an essential component of healthcare during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; therefore, our office will remain open to serve those in need. We are taking extensive preventative measures to protect our patients and employees who enter our clinic. Learn more

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Location & Hours

Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday: 6am - 8pm
Friday: 6am - 5pm
Saturday: By appointment
Sunday: Office closed

Office Address

Release Physical Therapy
2134 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037

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Our Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapists are accepting new patients.