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ChiropracticCare May Prevent Sciatic Nerve Surgery


Millions of Americans suffer from chronic sciatic nerve pain. The pain is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which extends throughout the back. The pressure is usually caused by out of place discs and vertebrae. For patients with sciatica, the pain can be debilitating. Many decide to engage in spinal decompression surgery, also called microdiscectomy, in order to help treat their pain. But some doctors and scientists wanted to see if the invasive surgery was necessary, looking instead at the efficacy of chiropractic treatment.

In the study, 40 patients with sciatica were observed. All of the patients had tried other treatment methods to manage their pain, including prescription drugs, massage or physical therapy but were still experiencing pain. Half of the volunteers received the spinal decompression surgery, while the other half received a series of chiropractic adjustments. After the treatments, 60 percent of the chiropractic group reported improvement from their sciatic pain.

The results were a bit mixed as the surgery group had 85 percent reporting improvement. Obviously this is a bit higher than the chiropractic-only group, but the researchers believe the findings are still promising. With well over half of the chiropractic patients reporting improvement, this shows that many of the people who currently choose invasive surgery to cure their sciatica may want to try chiropractic first. The patient may find relief from their pain with quick and natural adjustments while avoiding the risks and long recovery times that tend to come with back surgery.

This study correlates with previous research on the efficacy of chiropractic adjustments in the treatment of chronic sciatic nerve pain. The study authors hope that the current findings will encourage more primary care physicians to recommend chiropractic as an option in their wellness plan. This may save time, risk, and money. With a multidisciplinary approach, sciatica does not have to be debilitating.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Army Medicine

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