How To Treat Chronic Sciatica

Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 21, 2018

Chronic Sciatica

Sciatica is a pain condition that occurs when a patient’s sciatic nerve becomes compressed or damaged. This can happen acutely after a physical injury, or it can be chronic in nature. Chronic sciatica is defined as sciatic nerve pain that has gone unresolved for more than three months. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ve been in pain for three straight months. Chronic sciatica symptoms tend to appear irregularly or when certain actions are performed, but if they go unresolved for more than three months, it is considered chronic.

Chronic sciatica can be difficult to treat, but if you’re willing to put in the work to find the right treatment option, we’re confident you’ll find a solution that can either solve the problem or lead to better symptom control. Below, we take a closer look at some of the conservative or operative options for treating chronic sciatica.

Non-Operative Chronic Sciatica Treatment

Your sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the legs, so there are plenty of areas where the nerve can become pressurized or compressed. Here’s a look at some of the non-operative treatment options your back specialist may recommend:

  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Activity modification
  • Hot or cold therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Pain injections
  • Posture control/posture awareness techniques

As we noted above, it’s not usual for the first course of treatment to fail to provide full relief. Most patients need a combination of the above techniques in order to fully decompress their sciatic nerve. It’s also important that you stick with these techniques for the duration of your rehab. If you’re only taking your medications once in a while or you’re skipping physical therapy routines, you’re not going to experience full relief. You need to prioritize your therapy if you want to have the best chance of relieving your pain from chronic sciatica.

Surgical Chronic Sciatica Treatment

If patients are unable to find relief after attempting a few different conservative care techniques, and if imaging results suggest that an operation could easily address the problem, surgery may be recommended. Each case is unique, but for the vast majority of sciatic nerve compression cases, the operation can be performed using a minimally invasive technique.

This means that the surgeon will only need to make a couple small incisions in order to perform the operation. They will insert a tiny camera that will relay a live feed onto a monitor in the operating room so the surgeon can see where they are working. From there, the surgeon can carefully remove the bone spur or whatever offending object is causing the nerve compression. Once the area is decompressed, the surgical sites will be closed and your doctor will walk you through your recovery plan. Odds are you’ll be asked to follow some of the non-operative treatment techniques as you recover to help strengthen the area and prevent a recurrence.

Minneapolis Sciatica Doctor

Dr. Sinicropi has performed hundreds of decompression operations, and he can help you find relief if conservative care options aren’t quite doing the trick. Sciatic nerve decompression is a very straightforward procedure with high success rates. If you’re sick of dealing with your chronic sciatic nerve pain, set up a consultation with Dr. Sinicropi’s clinic today.

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