What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term for a spine condition with group of symptoms — such as shooting pain, numbness and weakness — that result from compression of the sciatic nerve. This long nerve branches off the lower spine and travels through the hips and down both legs. This is why hip and leg pain are so commonly associated with sciatica and why this condition is so disruptive to the lives of people who have it. This condition affects more than 40% of people, but can be managed through spine surgery. This will explore surgical sciatica treatment options and conservative sciatica treatments.
If the underlying cause is a spine condition, many patients think that spine surgery is their only choice. However, it is possible for these symptoms to improve with time by following recommended conservative sciatica treatment options, surgical sciatica treatment, and making necessary lifestyle changes. In fact, a large number of patients dealing with this condition are able to find lasting relief without ever needing spine surgery.
Conservative Sciatica Treatment
Most sciatica treatment doctors will initially prescribe a course of conservative sciatica treatment options, including:
- Physical therapy
- Pain medication
- Massage therapy
- Low-impact exercise
- Hot and cold compresses
- Epidural steroid injections
It is also common to recommend lifestyle changes to improve overall health such as:
- Quitting smoking
- Diet and exercise to reduce weight
- Improving posture
The goal of conservative sciatica treatment is to relieve pain while working to improve mobility. Combining this with measures to improve long-term health and physical fitness can take pressure off the spine. This can lead to a noticeable improvement in sciatica symptoms.
When Is Surgical Sciatica Treatment Necessary?
In general, if closely following a plan of conservative treatment does not improve symptoms, you might begin to explore spine surgery. When doing so, it’s important to be aware of the full range of surgical options. Due to the large muscle-tearing incision required to access the spine, traditional open spine procedures typically involve overnight hospitalization and a long, painful recovery period.
BEST Health System performs minimally invasive spine surgery that is an alternative to traditional open spine surgery and associated difficulties. We offer a variety of treatments for all conditions, including sciatica. By using a small muscle-sparing incision, these procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, with a reduced risk of surgical complications and a shorter recovery time.
BEST Health System
BEST Health System specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures and offers many benefits, including less risk of infection and no lengthy recovery. If you are dealing with nerve pain as a result of sciatica, get the help you need today. For more information on how BEST can help you find relief from chronic neck and back pain, contact us today.