What alternative treatments are available to address sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to describe a set of symptoms that develop when the large sciatic nerve in the lower back is compressed. These symptoms, which originate in the lower back and spread to the buttocks, back of the legs and feet, include:
- Muscle weakness
- Burning sensation
For many patients, sciatica can be treated with conservative methods recommended by a physician. These conservative methods are designed to relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve without the use of surgical intervention. Common methods of conservative treatment include physical therapy and pain medication. Some patients may choose a more natural route for pain relief with alternative methods of treatment, which may include chiropractic care, acupuncture and herbal supplements.
Chiropractic care involves spinal manipulation that can help remobilize joints and stretch muscles. The chiropractor manually adjusts the spine to return it to proper alignment, thereby helping to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Although not fully accepted by the mainstream medical community, this treatment option is chosen by many to help relieve the symptoms of a compressed sciatic nerve. If you do choose chiropractic care, remember that this treatment may cause minor discomfort or soreness initially, but this issue generally resolves within a day or two.
Acupuncture refers to a procedure in which a specialist inserts tiny needles into the skin in order to stimulate specific areas of the body. This treatment has its roots in ancient China, but it has recently gained popularity in the West. Although acupuncture isn’t generally accepted by the general medical community as an effective sciatica treatment, many patients have found it relieves their symptoms.
Laser Spine Institute
In addition to conservative and alternative treatment options, there are surgical procedures available that help address sciatic nerve compression and the associated symptoms. The minimally invasive decompression and stabilization spine surgeries at Laser Spine Institute have helped more than 75,000 patients, many of whom were experiencing sciatica. Our minimally invasive procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures.^