Alternative sciatic treatments

While sciatica pain can be overwhelming and debilitating, it can often be managed with alternative treatment methods outside of prescription painkillers and spine surgery.

The first step to finding out if alternative treatments are available to you is to schedule an appointment with your physician. Your physician can discuss the various nonsurgical treatment methods available to you based on the cause of your sciatica pain (herniated or bulging disc, spinal stenosis, or bone spur), your current lifestyle and your medical history. Once you have discussed the available treatment options with your doctor, you can make a confident decision about your spine care needs.

Alternative and conservative treatments for sciatica pain

If you’re trying to avoid prescription pain medication and spine surgery for your sciatica pain, your physician may recommend a series of conservative therapies to help reduce your symptoms.

Sciatica symptoms occur when a disc, joint or vertebra in the lower back (lumbar spine) moves out of alignment and presses against the largest nerve root in your body — the sciatic nerve. Because the sciatic nerve stretches from the lower back to the legs, symptoms of pain, numbness and/or tingling can radiate from the lower back to the legs and calves.

In order to treat this pain, you must relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve root. That can be accomplished by stretching the spine to create space for the spine to move back in alignment and then strengthening the core muscles to hold the spine in alignment and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Conservative treatments and alternative methods can include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Yoga and stretching
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care

When to consider sciatica surgery

Conservative treatments often take several months before effective pain relief can be measured. During this time, your physician may recommend over-the-counter medication to help relieve some of your pain without the risks and side effects of more powerful prescription pain medication.

If your sciatica pain is still constant and debilitating after several months of conservative therapy, you should consider spine surgery to treat your condition.

Before scheduling a traditional open back surgery, consider the safer, more effective minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures work to relieve the pain of sciatica through a small incision without disrupting the surrounding core muscles, which are crucial to the spine’s recovery. This careful process is not taken during traditional open back surgery, which requires a large incision and often involves cutting, tearing and altogether detaching the muscles surrounding the spine.

Because of our minimally invasive approach to the spine, our patients can experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of infection and complication than patients who choose traditional open back surgery. Depending on the cause of your sciatica pain, information about a minimally invasive decompression or stabilization procedure will be provided.

Take the next step on your journey to pain relief by contacting Laser Spine Institute and asking for a review of your MRI report or CT scan. We can explain the treatment options available to you so you can make an informed decision about your spine care needs.