Sciatic relief can be achieved through a variety of methods. Before determining which treatment is best for you, your physician will interview you in detail about your condition to assess the severity of your sciatica. Your physician may perform neurological tests to see if your condition is bad enough that it’s blocking messages from your brain to your leg, and he or she also may order an MRI, CT scan or X-ray as well. Once the specifics of your sciatica have been established, your physician will develop a plan for delivering sciatic relief.
If your symptoms are mild, then stretching, exercise, physical therapy, hot and cold compresses and/or spinal decompression may be prescribed. All of these methods can help relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve, which will reduce the pain and inflammation you are experiencing. Quite often, over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications will be recommended in conjunction with these treatments to manage symptoms. If your sciatica is more severe, or those methods don’t work, your physician may suggest a spinal steroid injection. This is a successful way to achieve sciatic relief; however, it comes with several side effects and is only temporary.
For severe cases of sciatica that are not improved by the above options, surgery may be prescribed. The benefit of surgery is that it addresses the cause of the pain – with sciatica that is often a herniated disc – but traditional surgery can come with considerable risks. One way to diminish those risks is by opting for minimally invasive surgery, which is what we offer at Laser Spine Institute. Our outpatient procedures don’t require hospitalization and involve only a small incision, so chances for infection and other side effects are significantly reduced.