One of the major gaps in medical science is the lack of proven sciatica and lumbar herniated disc treatment options. Other than time itself, there are no clinically proven methods of treatment that have strong and consistent support of the scientific community.
Although there has been some exceptionally good progress in the area of sciatica and herniated disc treatment research in recent years, no proven treatment breakthroughs have resulted – an obvious painful consequence for patients suffering with sciatica or severe pain in the lower back from a herniated disc.
One of the problems in determining an effective and proven treatment centers around diagnostic imprecision. Sciatica, for example, can result from various conditions, including conditions outside the spine such as piriformis syndrome. And disc herniations are common occurrences even in people who are experiencing no back pain. Therefore, linking sciatica to a specific disc herniation can become a diagnostic challenge.
Results From Recent Spinal Research
In a study published in Spine Journal (2010) that examined conservative measures of herniated disc treatment and sciatica, the authors came to the following conclusions:
- In considering surgical versus nonsurgical treatment options for sciatica and lumbar disc herniation, the authors concluded both to be equally effective in the long term.
- Strengthening exercises for back stabilization are effective over no treatment at all.
- Spinal manipulation has some benefit in reducing lower back pain.
- Mechanical traction (spinal decompression) plus physical therapy superior to physical therapy alone.
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