Depending on the severity of your sciatica, several treatment options can be considered.
As a rule, conservative, nonsurgical treatments should be the first line of defense against sciatica pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce inflammation in addition to relieving pain, exercises can strengthen your back, and applications of heat and cold can also reduce inflammation.
Stronger or secondary options for treatment include inflammation-relieving corticosteroid injections, electrical stimulation of the nerve endings in your damaged disc, and deep tissue massage.
Chiropractic and Physical Therapy
Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy are more time-consuming and often more expensive options than the previously listed treatments, but they can be effective in reducing spinal stress and inflammation. They may also correct posture or gait problems, which can in turn relieve nerve compression and lessen or eliminate sciatica pain.
When the above options have been unsuccessfully attempted, spine surgery may be appropriate. Your surgeon will determine what type of surgery is required. At North American Spine, our partner physicians exclusively practice minimally invasive surgery. The reason for this is simple: by operating through tiny incisions and using high-definition cameras and other high-tech surgical equipment–including a laser, if necessary–we can reduce surgical times, blood loss, and tissue damage, and vastly reduce recovery times compared to open back procedures.
Your physician will select one of two types of minimally invasive surgery to treat your sciatica:
Decompression Procedures eliminate soft tissue material that is impinging upon the sciatic nerve. Often, this is a quick and straightforward procedure and pain relief is felt immediately.
Fusion Procedures are a combination of a decompression procedure and a stabilization procedure. These types of procedures are used on people whose spines have lost some stability due to tissue damage. While these procedures take a little longer (typically 90 minutes to 3 hours), most people can go back to work within days and are fully recovered within six weeks.
The first step is to pinpoint the true cause of your sciatica pain. Contact a North American Spine patient coordinator at (855) 942-3887 to discuss your symptoms, past treatments and medical history, and get a free review of your MRI report.
How is Sciatica Treated?
Sciatica treatment depends on you – your specific physiology and how advanced your case is. The North American Spine medical team and your physician will thoroughly evaluate your situation and recommend a treatment plan to provide both maximum relief and minimum recovery time. Treatment plants are grouped into three categories:
I had a bulging disc, sciatica, and annular tear damage. After my procedure, I'm back working at the fire station, playing golf, running, and doing anything and everything. PAIN FREE.