Chiropractic Care First, Surgery Second for Sciatica
A new study comparing chiropractic spinal manipulation versus microdiskectomy in patients with sciatica (pain running down the leg) as a result of lower back disk herniation was published recently indicating the effectiveness of chiropractic care. Patients included in this study had already failed to respond positively to at least 3 months of non-operative management including treatment with analgesics, lifestyle modification, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and/or acupuncture. Patients were randomly assigned to either the chiropractic spinal manipulation group (the most common specialized procedure used by doctors of chiropractic) or the microdiskectomy group where patients received microdiskectomy surgery. The results indicated that 60 percent of patients with sciatica (NOTE: they had already failed other medical management) benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention. Thus, it makes sense for those suffering from lower back (lumbar) disk herniation even with sciatica to strongly consider chiropractic care even if other forms of care have been unsuccessful - at least prior to going under the knife, so to speak.