Sciatica treatment – conservative, alternative and surgical treatments
Sciatica is a term for the often debilitating symptoms that can result from compression of the sciatic nerve. This condition occurs when an injury or degenerative spine condition has pinched the sciatic nerve in the lower back.
Because the sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and sends sensory signals from the lower back all the way to the feet, compression or irritation of this nerve can drastically hinder a person’s ability to perform daily activities. Once-simple tasks like walking, gardening or doing household chores can become too painful to accomplish.
Sciatica treatment often begins with conservative methods prescribed by a doctor, but surgery can eventually become an option as well. By learning more about all of the options available to treat this condition, you can be more engaged with your care and give yourself a better chance of finding lasting relief.
Conservative treatments for sciatica
Upon diagnosis of the underlying cause of sciatica, doctors will typically begin with a treatment plan designed to help manage pain, improve range of motion and promote the health of the spine. Many plans include the following:
- Pain or anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
- Low-impact exercises
- Weight loss, if necessary
- Corticosteroid injections
These treatments often take several weeks or months to effectively reduce the symptoms of sciatica. In addition to conventional methods, many patients also explore alternative treatments to complement their existing plan.
Alternative treatments for sciatica
While alternative treatments for sciatica pain are outside of the medical mainstream, many patients do report experiencing relief from these methods. You should always consult your physician before beginning or changing any treatment plan.
Common methods of alternative treatment for sciatica include:
- Restorative yoga
- Chiropractic care
- Herbal medication
If you have exhausted conservative and alternative treatment methods and you are still suffering from sciatica pain, your doctor may recommend spine surgery.
Surgical treatments for sciatica
Often, patients have the choice between two types of surgery for sciatica pain: traditional open back surgery or minimally invasive spine surgery. The minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute offers patients many benefits compared to traditional open back surgery, such as a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication.^ The type of minimally invasive surgery used to help treat your sciatica pain would be dependent on the cause of your sciatic nerve compression. To learn more about the types of surgery we offer and the benefits versus traditional open back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.
We can help you find out if you’re a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures by providing you with a no-cost MRI review.*