Most of the patients suffering from sciatica are likely to improve if we allow nature to heal them. Mostly the patients heal by nonsurgical treatment for sciatica or slip disc. The body’s own defence system to fight diseases starts getting active when the sciatic nerve is irritated due to slip disc. However, the time it takes for a patient to recover varies from person to person. The average time for most of the patients to recover naturally is 4-8 weeks. one may take any type of treatment (either from a spine doctor, or general physician or even traditional healers or bonesetters or maalishwala), the credit for recovery is usually to the patient’s own healing mechanism.
In the nonsurgical treament, the patient is given pain medication and nerve calming medication along with a short period of bed rest (not beyond a few days). once the pain starts improving, the patient is put under the care of a physiotherapy and rehabilitation for back pain/sciatica. The usual time period for sciatica patients to recover by themselves is 6-8 weeks.
However, a small percentage (15-20%) of patients suffering from sciatica are unlikely to heal by themselvers and may need help from an expert spine doctor.
Some of these patients who don’t heal by themselves, can benefit from spine injections that are given by spine specialist doctors. The doctor gives a small dose of cortisone into the patient’s back under xray control to deliver the anti-inflammatory medication very close to the site of disease. this helps in reducing the inflammation of the nerve and helps the patient recovery quickly from sciatica.
A further small percentage of patients may not benefit from any nonoperative treatment and may need surgery for spine. Spine surgery requires the treatment from best spine doctors who chose to treat this disease with most modern and minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. When it comes to surgery, removal of the slipped disc fragment is done by a small cut given in the patient’s back. Such an operation is called a discectomy operation. These days, it can be done using the most modern method of using tiny endoscope (a small camera introduced in the patient’s back) that gives a magnified view of the inside and allows a safe removal of the slipped disc.
Cognitive behavioral therapy also helps a great deal in treating sciatica