Do you suffer from Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition in which pain goes down the sciatic nerve and branches from the lower back through the buttocks and down each leg. It normally affects one side of the body. Various parts of the leg may feel weak or numb. Some patients may experience lower back pain, but it is not always present. Although the pain can be severe, in many cases it can be resolved in a few weeks through non-surgical treatments.
There are various treatment options for lessening the pain of sciatica including physical therapies and medication. Low level laser therapy is a non-invasive alternative, offering reduced inflammation, restoration of function and a reduction of pain, without heating or harming the skin.
Get Relief from Sciatic pain with Cold Laser Therapy
Low level laser therapy is a medical grade, painless therapeutic laser used as a treatment to relieve pain.
The powerful anti-inflammatory effect of LLLT helps to heal pinched nerves. It works by enhancing circulation and encouraging the injured cells and tissues to repair, helping to restore normal function. As the underlying problem is treated, restoration of function and longer lasting pain relief is possible.
Not only can low level laser reduce inflammation, it tends to work well in combination with exercise, physiotherapy and other treatment modalities.
Some pain reduction can usually be felt immediately after treatment and the best results are achieved with cumulative treatments.
– Dr David Bartlett, Practice Principal – Robina Town Medical Centre
Benefits of low level laser therapy as a Sciatica treatment:
- Clinically proven results
- Reduces the need for medication
- Helps to restore the normal range of motion
- Suitable for all ages
- Treatment is painless
- Relieves and potentially eliminates pain
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk in the spine or an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on the vertebrae causes the sciatic nerve to become pinched. This causes pain, inflammation or numbness in the affected leg. In rare cases the nerve can be compressed by a tumor or injured by diabetes or other similar diseases.
Other common causes are:
- Spinal canal in the lower back becomes narrow, which is known as Lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae, break down – known as Degenerative disc disease.
- When one vertebra slips over another one and goes forward – known as Spondylolisthesis.
- Muscle spasm in the buttocks or back.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Symptoms of sciatica are normally based on the location of the compressed nerve. Pain from the condition can vary from infrequent and annoying to continuous and paralyzing. However, the debilitating pain rarely causes permanent damage. Common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Lower back pain.
- Constant pain in one side of the leg or buttock.
- Difficulty moving foot or leg.
- Weakness or numbness.
- Hip pain.
- Pain is worse when sitting.
- Burning sensation down the leg.
- Shooting pain that may make it difficult to stand up.
- Pain radiates down the leg and travels down to the foot and toes.
How is sciatica treated?
Non-surgical treatments may relieve the pain most people. But for others, if the severe pain doesn’t get better on its own, a GP might suggest a more structured treatment approach and possibly surgery. Here are some treatment options for sciatica:
Medications. Anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen).
Physical therapy. Exercises designed to correct posture, improve flexibility and reinforce muscles supporting the back.
Heat or ice packs. Heat and/or ice packs can help ease pain in the leg.
Steroid injections. Corticosteroid medication injection into the area around the affected nerve root may help reduce pain by suppressing inflammation around the nerve.
Surgery. Surgery is performed when the pinched nerve causes considerable weakness, loss of bladder of bowel control, or when the pain progressively worsens. Surgery will remove the bone spur or the herniated disk that is pushing on the compressed nerve.
Low level laser therapy is an effective, drug-free, painless alternative to traditional sciatica treatments
Used on its own or in combination with traditional treatments under the guidance of a GP, cold laser can be effective in reducing or eliminating pain.
Instant or long-lasting relief cannot be guaranteed as results vary for each patient due to age, health condition, type of injury, lifestyle and concurrent treatments, however clinical evidence and our patients’ experiences indicate low level laser to be a worthwhile and effective treatment option for sciatica.