The standard medical approach for sciatica varies depending on how severe it is. Treatment can range from muscle relaxers, pain killers, and NSAIDs, to rest and physical therapy. These treatments have proven ineffective at times, often requiring surgery, which also does not have the best success rate. While surgery has a time and a place, it should be a last resort, and even then it should be made through informed decision-making. In fact, the medical community has even coined the term ‘failed back surgery syndrome’ because of how common surgical complications have become.
Chiropractors have helped millions of people with low back and sciatic pain in a natural, non-invasive way. This is accomplished by realigning the spine to take pressure off the nerve causing the pain. The sciatic nerve originates in the lumbar spine, and although sciatic pain can radiate down the leg and possibly to the toes, most chiropractors focus on the low back to treat the condition at its source.
A case report conducted on two patients with sciatic neuropathy and confirmed disc herniation were treated with low force chiropractic treatment. Follow-up CAT scans in the first case revealed complete absence of disc herniation. Follow-up CAT scans on the second case revealed the continued presence of a silent disc bulge at the L3-4 level and partial decrease in a herniation at the L4-5 level. The bulge appeared to have shifted away from the nerve root. Both patients declared a decrease in pain levels from severe to minimal. The patients regained the ability to stand, sit, and walk for longer periods without discomfort, and lifting tasks also became easier. The patients were able to return to full work capacity at three and nine months, respectively.
Chiropractic consultation is a prudent first step for anyone suffering from sciatica. According to research, it has proven to be the most effective source of treatment for low back pain and sciatica. One study compared 700,000 people who were under regular chiropractic care and found that these people had saved an estimated $16 million on health care costs.