Sciatica is a problem in many people, both young and old. The pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness that comes with sciatica become constant frustration and a source of reduced quality of life. Many people complain of lower back pain and pins and needles sensations in their legs, but are unaware that they are suffering from sciatic nerve pain.

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back region, through the buttocks, all the way down to the lower leg.

Because sciatica symptoms are so close to that of low back pain, patients often wait too long. At more developed stages, however, the patient might become worried and they usually opt for surgery when told that’s the only route to go.


The research

In recent research, they compared clinical success and effectiveness of both Microdiscectomy and spinal manipulation in patients with lumbar disc herniation. 40 patients that have tried and failed at least 3 months of non-operative management were randomly selected for either spinal manipulation or surgical microdiskectomy.


In surgical microdiskectomy, a small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material from under the nerve root is removed to relieve neural impingement and provide more room for the nerve to heal.

Spinal Manipulation

Practitioners perform spinal manipulation by using their hands or a device to apply a controlled force to a joint of the spine. The amount of force applied depends on the form of manipulation used. The goal of the treatment is to relieve pain and improve physical functioning, without invasive measures.


The outcome

60% of patients with sciatica who had failed other medical management benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention.

Surgery should always be considered when you don’t have another choice and you’ve exhausted all your options.

The research for this article can be found here