How to treat sciatica pain without surgery

Sciatica — the symptoms associated with the compression of the sciatic nerve — is a frustrating condition that can leave you dealing with crippling pain. Whether you are experiencing muscle weakness in one of your legs, numbness in your toes or pain radiating along the nerve, knowing how to treat sciatica pain with conservative, nonsurgical therapies can relieve your pain and restore your quality of life.

Originating in the lower spine, the sciatic nerve can be compressed by spine conditions caused by age or injury. While many associate these types of issues, such as a herniated disc or a bone spur, with the need for highly invasive open back surgeries, the fact is that many patients find lasting relief through other methods. If sciatica is affecting your life, educating yourself about the full range of options, and working closely with your doctor, can help you get the treatment you need.

Sciatica pain treatment options

Here are some of the most common noninvasive treatments:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication. Medication can offer symptom relief so that normal activity can be resumed. Your physician may direct you to take either over-the-counter or prescription medication to reduce the swelling around your affected area and ease the discomfort you are feeling.
  • Exercises to treat sciatica. Some patients are surprised to learn exercise is recommended in addition to rest, but proper exercise can reduce your pain and prevent future damage. It is important to work with your physician to develop targeted exercises to ensure you are strengthening the correct part of your back and not overdoing your workout. Low-impact exercise is a great way to strengthen the supporting muscles of your back and increase your flexibility and mobility.
  • Stretching. Like exercise, stretching is an important way to build flexibility in your lower back.
  • Heat or ice therapy. The use of a heating pad or ice packs is another way to limit the swelling in your lower back and reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. Ice is a natural anti-inflammatory and can also numb sore parts of the back, while heat increases blood circulation which helps delivers nutrients to the area.
  • Other forms of manipulation. This can include physical therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic adjustment. However, it is important to find a certified professional who understands your condition and is qualified to help treat your sciatica.

When conservative treatment is not enough

If your doctor is recommending you for surgery because conservative options have been exhausted, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. Our highly skilled team of surgeons performs minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery that is an alternative to the risks and difficulties of traditional open back procedures.

To find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures, contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* from our caring team of professionals.