Sciatica treatment options for a better recovery
There are many effective sciatica treatment options, and recovery from sciatica symptoms can often take as little as a few weeks when treated properly. It’s important to understand that sciatica is not a specific condition and is instead the term for a collection of symptoms you may experience due to compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica symptoms can vary greatly from patient to patient. Sciatic nerve pain can run from your lower back, down both legs and even to your feet and toes. The specific location and level of your pain is usually dependent on the location of the nerve compression.
Your doctor may be able to diagnose your sciatica through methods like performing a range of motion exam as well as asking questions about the history of your pain and symptoms. Imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs may be necessary if your doctor wants to determine the source of your symptoms.
To treat sciatica there are several conservative sciatica treatment options available that can help with your recovery. Medications are commonly an important part of the treatment for sciatica symptoms, including over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Prescription medications such as muscle relaxants and antidepressants may be used in some cases.
Other conservative treatment options for sciatica include:
- Stretching to improve flexibility
- Epidural steroid injections to decrease inflammation around the nerve
- Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, improving posture and avoiding activities that put stress on the spine
- Exercise to strengthen your core can help reduce the stress on the spine.
Fortunately, many patients undergoing sciatica treatment can experience a recovery in a span of weeks or months, but depending on the cause, sciatica symptoms can also worsen over time or take much longer to clear. For those who are being prevented from performing regular daily activities and have not found relief from their sciatica symptoms after a full course of conservative treatments, surgery may be an option.
At Laser Spine Institute, we perform minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery to treat degenerative spine conditions that are often the cause of sciatica. Our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery,^ offering many advantages to our patients.
If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures, contact us today for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.*