Treating Sciatica, Or Not

February 13, 2011 8:30 am 6 comments

Spelling sciatica is one thing. Figuring out how to treat it is even harder. Sciatica, according to Web MD, is pain, tingling, or numbness produced by an irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down each leg. It is usually caused by pressure from a ruptured or herniated disc, which pushes against the roots of the sciatic nerve. What to do about it? The Mayo Clinic suggests physical therapy–mainly exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the lower back, pain relievers, and, only as a last resort and only in some extreme cases, surgery. Bed rest, often prescribed for extreme and persistent sciatica, was recently shown to be no to be only slightly more helpful than watchful-waiting in the short term, and no more helpful than watchful waiting after 12 weeks.


  • As a person who has suffered with sciatic nerve problems for over five years, I know that everything is different with each case. I went to physical therapy at order of my insurance company since it was required as the first means of treatment. I had a bulging disc in my L5/S1 disc which caused sciatica in my right leg. Two months into physical therapy my achilis and two small toes on the right foot went numb. I’ve had steroid injections, a laminectomy back surgery and nothing has corrected the pain in my foot. I’m still seeking medical help for my situation.

  • I just got out of surgery on Fri for a ruptured L5 disc. Did the PT and shots first but no relief. Pain/burning down my leg is completely gone now. I also had weakness and numbness in my foot which has improved but not disappeared but they said it could take some time. My suggestion for anyone who has numbing/tingling and weakness to not waste time with PT and other therapy. You could end up with permanent nerve damage. Seek a second opinion and have an MRI.

  • L3-l4,L4-L5,L5-S1. PT for ever. Epidurals and Transforaminal injections under fluroscopy. Finally crawling to my neurosurgeon, begging for surgery… He almost said yes. But before he wanted me to try one last PT…kinda! The doctor that invented Nautilus weight equipment also made machines for the lumbar spine and the neck(C spine). Un-believeable. No surgery and I’m still working. Check it out on MedX-Online. Still on maintenance therapy once a week and no more numbness, pain or tingling. I still have very minor occassional flare ups. I can live with it and best of all can still work with it.

  • I have had therapy, two injections of steroids and are better, but not not over it. Hoping for better days and watchful waiting. I can golf without much pain now and Dr. says I don’t need surgery. I can push through it and take it. Need more exercise and therapy for sure.

  • I was in a major car accident 2 1/2 years ago. I had severe neck and back pain and cannot work. I had the fusion surgery on the neck and it was a total success. I have have PT on the neck and back. It was very helpful with my recovery from the neck surgery but very painful for my back. I go from constant minor pain to severe disabling pain and sciatica in both legs and back. The sciatica has been treated with Valium, percocet, and soma. This helps very much but I have been addicted to codeine for over two years. I am unable to take care of myself without the drugs. I want to try new PT such as aqua therapy and other drug free solutions. Like many of us surgery seems like a 50/50 chance at best. I cannot get these therapy’s because I have no Insurance and am waiting for SS to determine my case. In the mean time, I cannot work to support myself. I suppose I’ve just fallen through the cracks as it were. Has anyone had a similar situation and has anyone tried aqua therapy?

  • Have you tried massage therapy. You could have a intrapment in one of muscles in your lower leg.

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