Our spine specialists will work closely with you to determine your treatment plan for sciatica. We will find the solution that fits your unique needs best. Factors we consider in planning your treatment include:
- Severity of your symptoms
- General health
- Your preferences and expectations for treatment
- Your lifestyle
Sciatica: Nonsurgical Treatment Options
At the University of Vermont Medical Center’s Spine program, the most important member of your care team is you. We involve you in the treatment process from the beginning, working together to find the treatment that best fits your needs and lifestyle. The same team follows you through your diagnosis and treatment, so we get to know you well.
Treatment options include:
- Watchful waiting: If your symptoms are mild and not interfering with your daily functioning, we may decide to wait and see if they resolve on their own. We will be in touch with you on a regular basis. If the symptoms are worsening, we may decide to move to more active treatment.
- Physical therapy: We offer a robust physical therapy program right here at our facility. Our experts will work with you to design a personalized physical therapy plan to help you regain maximum functioning.
- Steroid injections: We often use steroid injections in combination with a physical therapy program. The steroid injections relieve pain, allowing you to resume normal activities and participate in a rehabilitation program.
- Chiropractor: Many patients experience relief through chiropractic care. A chiropractor is a specialists in managing and treating neuromuscular disorders. A chiropractor focuses on manually adjusting or manipulating the spine.
- Acupuncturist: An alternative therapy, acupuncture can help treat pain. A trained acupuncturist inserts thin needles into certain areas of the body to relieve pressure.
Surgery for Sciatica
We may turn to surgery if other nonsurgical treatment options do not provide sufficient relief. We will decide together with you if surgery is the option that will offer you the most effective long-term relief. Our clinic will do a complete preoperative workup before your surgery.
During the procedure, called a microdiscectomy, your orthopedic surgeon will:
- Make a small incision in your lower back
- Move your back muscles off of your spine
- Enter the spine and trim the edges of the nerves that are causing the pain
Recovery from Sciatica Surgery
A microdiscectomy leaves all of your muscles and joints intact, so it does not affect the functioning of your lower spine. Most patients require some form of physical therapy following surgery. We will coordinate a physical therapy plan after your surgery, to meet your particular needs.
You can make an appointment with us by:
- Having your primary care physician send us a referral.
- Calling our clinic directly to make an appointment for yourself.