Alternative sciatic treatments
Sciatica — symptoms resulting from compression of the sciatic nerve — can be a debilitating condition, making everyday tasks like grocery shopping or working in the yard difficult to impossible. However, many patients are able to successfully manage their symptoms through conservative treatments, with surgery often not being required. Additionally there are also alternative sciatic treatments patients can pursue to complement more conventional methods.
The first step to finding out if alternative treatments may help you is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she can discuss the various nonsurgical treatment methods available to you based on the cause of your sciatica pain, 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
Patients pursue alternative treatment options for many reasons, including personal beliefs or a desire to avoid prescription medications. Since these options typically fall outside the medical mainstream, it is important to keep your doctor informed about any new forms of treatment you pursue to make sure it is compatible with any current therapies.
Successfully treating sciatica involves taking pressure off the sciatic nerve. This can be accomplished through conventional methods like physical therapy and exercises that stretch and strengthen supporting muscles and help alleviate nerve pressure. Anti-inflammatory medication can also help reduce swelling around the area of sciatic nerve compression.
There is some evidence that alternative treatments can take pressure off nerves as well. Common methods include:
- Massage therapy
- Yoga and stretching
- Chiropractic care
When to consider sciatica surgery
Surgery may be recommended if conservative and alternative treatments do not bring relief after being attempted over a course of weeks or months. Before choosing to undergo traditional open back surgery, consider minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our highly skilled surgeons use muscle-sparing techniques, like a less than 1-inch incision, to access the spine and decompress the sciatic nerve. Because of our minimally invasive approach to spine surgery, our patients can experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication than those who choose traditional open back surgery.
For a no-cost MRI review* to help you determine if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures, reach out to our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today.