Sciatica is well-treated using naturopathic medicine.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, running from your spinal cord to your buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg. The term “sciatica” refers to pain or numbness that radiates along the path of this nerve (i.e., from your low back to your buttocks and the back of your legs).
Sciatica is a symptom caused by other conditions affecting the nerve including herniated disks, conditions affecting the bones of the spinal column, inflammation of the piriformis muscle or trauma to the sciatic nerve or any of the bones or muscles surrounding it.
Seek professional healthcare if self-care is not effective in four weeks.
Seek emergency medical care if your sciatica:
- Is sudden and severe
- Accompanies numbness and muscle weakness in your legs
- Accompanies loss of bowel or bladder control
- Follows a violent injury (e.g., automobile accident)
Treatment of Sciatica at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of sciatica treatment are complete pain relief, healing of any damaged tissue and prevention of recurrence.
Conventional treatment for sciatica may include physical therapy, and a variety of medications, including anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, narcotics, tricyclic antidepressants and steroid injections. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.
For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your sciatica.
Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating sciatica may be to:
- Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., sedentary lifestyle) or general health (diabetes mellitus) that may be contributing to development of sciatica
- Resolve pain using acupuncture, Bowen Therapy or Suikodo™
- Prevent recurrence using acupuncture, Bowen Therapy or Suikodo™ maintenance protocols
- Prevent recurrence by nourishing nerves using nutritional supplements
Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Nutritional supplements
- Metabolic detoxification protocols
- Botanical (herbal) medicines
- Bowen Therapy
- Exercise prescription
- Relaxation (meditation) training
- Lifestyle medicine and counseling
- Registered massage therapy
Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Sciatica [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sciatica/DS00516.