Naturopathic Medicine Treatment
Interview with Dr. Andrea Purcell, ND
Sciatica is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Symptoms of sciatica include lower back pain, pain in the buttocks, and pain radiating down one leg. Common causes of sciatica include lumbar herniated disk also known as a slipped disk or a bulging disk or a pinched nerve, degenerative disk disease where the disks are breaking down and putting pressure on the nerve root, vertebral body fracture where the vertebrae are collapsing and breaking on top of each other putting pressure on the nerve root, spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal canal also putting pressure on the nerve root, or piriformis syndrome which is a spasm of the piriformis muscle which is located in the buttock which squeezes on the nerve and causes pain.
Sciatica Medications and Conventional Treatment
Conventional medicine treatments for sciatica include exercising and stretching, which is a good recommendation, muscle relaxers and pain killers which can leave a person unable to operate heavy machinery or drive a car, and anti-inflammatory injections called cortisone. Cortisone is a very common anti-inflammatory that is injected into joints where there is pain and inflammation; however it does not treat the underlying causes of sciatica which is a bulging disk on the nerve root. It is solely anti-inflammatory. Surgical treatments for sciatica involve a microdiscectomy. What that means is that a surgeon will go in and remove a piece of the disk that is pressing on the nerve root. There are no guarantees with back surgery that a patient will experience resolution of their back pain, and the recovery time is two to six months.
Sciatica Diagnosis with Natural Medicine
When a patient comes into my office with pain radiating down one leg, they know and I know that they have sciatica. To confirm this diagnosis, I order a lumbar MRI to determine exactly where the pressure on the nerve is.
Sciatica Treatment with Natural Medicine
My treatment for sciatica is a comprehensive approach. It starts with exercise and stretching, an anti-inflammatory diet along with other anti-inflammatory supplements such as digestive enzymes and herbs that are anti-inflammatory, trigger point injections, which is a combination of vitamins and procaine which is an anesthetic to help reduce the muscle spasm that happens as a result of the nerve being inflamed, and Prolozone. Prolozone injections are injections that are done into the ligaments of the lower back to help strengthen them so that the disk is able to go back into place and prevent itself from slipping back out and putting pressure on the nerve root.
Sciatica Pain Relief
The purpose of my treatment is to strengthen the ligaments on either side of the vertebrae to pull the disk back into place and take pressure off the sciatic nerve. When this happens, inflammation decreases, the pressure is off the nerve, and the mechanics of the spine are corrected and the pain is gone.
Ten percent of all sciatic cases are untreatable just due to degenerative disease processes. For the other ninety percent, I have a ninety percent success rate when patients follow my protocols.
Live Naturally: Improve Your Health Today
Sciatica Treatment Success with Natural Medicine
For someone struggling with sciatica, I recommend that they adopt a natural living lifestyle. That includes avoidance of foods that are inflammatory. Processed foods which come in a bag, a box or a can are inflammatory. Anti-inflammatory foods include oganic foods such as darkly pigmented fruits, green leafy vegetables, clean sources of protein and nutritious grains. Additionally, I recommend that he or locate a naturopathic doctor trained in Prolozone to help treat the underlying cause of the sciatica.
Interview with Dr. Andrea Purcell, ND
Watch Dr. Purcell on YouTube.
Also See: Dr. Angela Agrios, ND Naturopathic Doctor Health Series