If you're suffering from chronic sciatica due to disc herniation, you may wonder, "Should I seek surgery for relief?" If you do seek the surgical route, it's important to understand that surgery comes with certain costs and risks, like an increased risk of nerve root damage, infections, and cerebrospinal fluid leakage. Additionally, not all patients experience relief after surgery. It's estimated that 5-10% of patients who receive microdiscectomy experience recurrent disc herniation even after surgery. Another common operation for sciatica, lumbar laminectomy, does not significantly improve pain or overall function in an estimated 20-30% of patients.
While surgery may be necessary for severe cases of sciatica and disc herniation, many cases can be relieved through non-surgical, noninvasive methods such as physical therapy and chiropractic care. In fact, the American Medical Association recommends that patients with back pain first pursue such conservative options prior to resorting to surgery. A 2010 study showed that chiropractic spinal adjustments enabled 63% of patients to find relief from sciatica without the use of surgery. Other research has shown that chiropractic care allowed workers with sciatica to return to work sooner than the average employee not under chiropractic care.
Spinal adjustments aren't the only way our Aloha chiropractors can relieve your sciatic nerve pain. Performing daily therapeutic exercises assigned by our physical therapists can also help. A study published last year in the journal Spine tested the effects of exercise therapies on sciatica recovery. The researchers discovered that patients who performed symptom-targeted exercises for eight weeks had better improvements in pain, function status, and vocational status compared to a control group.
If you're interested in non-invasive relief of sciatica, disc herniation, and back pain, call our office in Aloha/Beaverton today.
Albert HB and Manniche C. The efficacy of systematic active conservative treatment for patients with severe sciatica: a single-blind, randomized, clinical, controlled trial. Spine 2012; 37(7):531-42.
Albert H, Hauge E, and Manniche M. Centralization in patients with sciatica: are pain responses to repeated movement and positioning associated with outcome or types of disc lesions? European Spine Journal201; DOI 10.1007/s00586-011-2018-9
Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30:135-139.