Sciatica — treatment options for lasting relief

A wide variety of sciatica treatment options are available if your life is being disrupted by this condition. Common options range from conservative techniques to open spine surgery. To determine the best course of treatment for you needs, it is important to first obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional regarding the cause of your sciatica pain as well as the severity of your symptoms.

A brief overview of sciatica

The condition commonly known as sciatica actually describes a set of symptoms that can arise as a result of compression of the sciatic nerve, often in the lumbar region of the spine. This means the goal of sciatica treatment is to take pressure off the sciatic nerve in addition to relieving symptoms. While sciatica is often associated with leg pain and chronic lower back pain, it can also include a number of additional symptoms, such as muscle weakness, numbness or tingling that can reach to the toes, radiating pain and more. Compression of the sciatic nerve is often the result of an age-related spine condition like a bulging disc. There can be other causes and contributors as well, such as injury, which is why it is so important to consult with your doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Conservative sciatica treatment

Upon finding the source of symptoms, sciatica treatment usually begins with a planned course of conservative, nonsurgical therapies that are designed to manage pain, help improve mobility and take pressure off the sciatic nerve. Treatment options can vary from patient to patient, but some of the most commonly recommended techniques include:

  • Medication
  • The application of hot and cold compresses
  • Gentle stretching
  • Massage
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • A healthy diet and regular moderate exercise
  • Posture improvement
  • Weight management, if necessary
  • Epidural steroid injections

Surgery for sciatica

If several weeks or months of conservative treatment do not provide sufficient relief, more involved sciatica treatment, such as decompression surgery, might be recommended. However, the decision to undergo any surgical procedure should be made carefully and only after a patient’s conservative treatment options have been fully attempted without success.

If you are considering highly invasive traditional open spine surgery, but have concerns about the risks and difficulties involved, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with a less than 1-inch incision, offering less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional procedures.^

To learn more, ask our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants for a no-cost MRI review* that can help determine if you’re a candidate for one of our procedures.

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