Alternative treatments for sciatica pain

Sciatica is a set of symptoms that begin in the lumbar (lower) spine and travel to other areas of the lower body, such as the buttocks and legs, when the sciatic nerve is pinched.

When a disc in the spine or a bone spur places pressure on the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back to the buttocks, legs and feet, sciatica pain can develop. These symptoms are typically felt on one side of the body and may include:

  • Dull, sharp or burning pain
  • Shooting pain felt through the buttock, leg and thigh
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty standing, walking or sitting

Sciatica symptoms can be severe and debilitating, but there are many treatment options that can help you find lasting relief.

Alternative treatments for sciatica

In addition to conventional conservative options like hot/cold therapy, over-the-counter medication and physical therapy, many patients seek out alternative treatments that are outside the medical mainstream. The most common alternative treatments used for sciatica include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga and stretching
  • Massage therapy
  • Herbal supplements
  • Biofeedback therapy

If you are interested in exploring any of these options, it is important to work closely with your doctor to make sure that any alternative treatments you explore are compatible with your existing treatment.

What else can I do to treat sciatica?

Alternative treatments can be most effective when used alongside conventional medicine, so ask your doctor about other methods of treatment you can try, such as physical therapy and lifestyle changes that can potentially relieve sciatica and improve the long-term health of your spine.

If you’ve found that conservative and alternative treatments are not providing you with lasting relief and you are being recommended for spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery. Since 2005, our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Many causes of sciatica can be addressed with a decompression procedure that removes a small piece of displaced spinal anatomy that is compressing the sciatic nerve. However in more severe cases a stabilization procedure may be recommended as an alternative to a traditional open spine fusion. Our patients experience a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication^ compared to patients who undergo traditional open back surgery.

When you speak with our dedicated team, you can request a free review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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