Sciatica, or sciatic neuritis is any condition involving pain radiating down the leg. It is important to remember that sciatica is a symptom and is the result of something else going on. Most commonly, sciatica is the result of a lumbar herniated disc, but it can just as easily be from a number of other problems. Your doctor can determine what the cause of the pain is, depending on the radiation pattern, and other symptoms. An MRI may be ordered, if necessary to determine the extent of the problem.
The traditional medical approach is to prescribe painkillers, steroids and anti-inflammatories and to recommend physical therapy. If that approach doesn't work, most people are sent off for a surgical consultation. Most people with mild to moderate symptoms will not be surgical candidates, and will be presented with a choice, either continue living with the pain, or keep taking painkillers forever. This is a false dichotomy (a choice of only two options, when there are more options). The other option that most medical doctors won't tell you about is chiropractic care which, when initiated early tends to have very good results in the treatment of this condition, and is even effective later down the line after other treatments have failed.
The treatment of sciatica will depend on the cause. If it is due to a herniated disc or multiple discs, we will address that issue (See Herniated Discs for further details). Likewise, if the sciatica is present as a result of some other condition, we will address that condition with you. In all cases, we will discuss with you the various benefits, risks and options of treating your condition with chiropractic methods before beginning therapy.
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