Sciatica

Sciatica is an irritation of the nerve that leaves the spine in the low back. Pressure on this nerve causes burning, tingling, or shooting pain that can travel down the leg.

It is treated with exercise, physical therapy, and medicines. Some people may need surgery.

Natural Therapies

May Be Effective

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about all herbs or supplements you are taking. Some may interact with your treatment plan or health conditions.

References

Acupuncture

A1. Fernandez M, Ferreira PH. Acupuncture for sciatica and a comparison with Western Medicine (PEDro synthesis). Br J Sports Med. 2017;51(6):539-540.

A2. Zhang X, Wang Y, Wang Z, Wang C, Ding W, Liu Z. A randomized clinical trial comparing the effectiveness of electroacupuncture versus medium-frequency electrotherapy for discogenic sciatica. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:9502718.

A3. Jordan J, Konstantinou K, et al. Herniated lumbar disc. BMJ Clin Evid. 2009 Mar 26;2009. pii: 1118.

A4. Luijsterburg PA, Verhagen AP, et al. Effectiveness of conservative treatments for the lumbosacral radicular syndrome: a systematic review. Eur Spine J. 2007 Jul;16(7):881-899.

Yoga

B1. Monro R, Bhardwaj AK, et al. Disc extrusions and bulges in nonspecific low back pain and sciatica: Exploratory randomised controlled trial comparing yoga therapy and normal medical treatment. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2015;28(2):383-392.

Spinal Manipulation

C1. Lewis RA, Williams NH, et al. Comparative clinical effectiveness of management strategies for sciatica: systematic review and network meta-analyses. Spine J. 2015 Jun 1;15(6):1461-1477.

C2. McMorland G, Suter E, et al. Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010 Oct;33(8):576-584.

C3. Jordan J, Konstantinou K, et al. Herniated lumbar disc. BMJ Clin Evid. 2009 Mar 26;2009. pii: 1118.

C4. Luijsterburg PA, Verhagen AP, et al. Effectiveness of conservative treatments for the lumbosacral radicular syndrome: a systematic review. Eur Spine J. 2007 Jul;16(7):881-899.

C5. Santilli V, Beghi E, et al. Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. Spine J. 2006 Mar-Apr;6(2):131-137.

Massage

D1. Jordan J, Konstantinou K, et al. Herniated lumbar disc. BMJ Clin Evid. 2009 Mar 26;2009. pii: 1118.

Herbs and Supplements

E1. Memeo A, Loiero M. Thioctic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of sciatic pain caused by a herniated disc: a randomized, double-blind, comparative study. Clin Drug Investig. 2008;28(8):495-500.

Last reviewed May 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/14/2019

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