Methods for relief of sciatica symptoms

Sciatica is the name for a collection of symptoms that often result from compression of the sciatic nerve. This condition can not only cause physical pain and discomfort, but also can lead to anxiety and depression from the negative effect it has on your quality of life. However, many patients are able to find relief from their symptoms through the use of conservative methods. Learning more about some of the most effective ways to find lasting relief from sciatica is an important first step in getting back to the life you deserve.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Compression of the sciatic nerve can cause the following symptoms:

  • Sharp, shooting pain in the hips, buttocks and legs
  • Lower back pain
  • Numbness in the lower extremities
  • Tingling in the toes
  • Weakness and cramping in the legs

Sciatica symptoms usually occur on one side of the body or the other, but can sometimes occur on two sides at once if a condition like a bulging disc compresses both branches of the nerve.

What treatments can provide relief?

Most physicians recommend conservative methods for initial treatment of sciatica symptoms. This typically includes:

  • The use of medication, such as over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and prescription pain relievers
  • Physical therapy, including range of motion exercises, posture improvement and massage
  • Alternating the application of a heating pad with a cold compress to relax muscles and reduce inflammation
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and improving your diet

These techniques can relieve the symptoms for many who are diagnosed with sciatica. Those who receive little to no relief from conservative treatments might be advised to undergo spine surgery.

Minimally invasive spine surgery for sciatica

Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery as an alternative to traditional open back procedures. Since 2005 we have helped more than 60,000 patients find lasting relief from sciatica and other conditions while achieving a patient satisfaction score of 96.^

Contact us to learn more about our muscle-sparing techniques and for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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