Work-related sciatica can be one of the most challenging and expensive problem in our health care systems. By definition, sciatica refers to pain and tenderness at some point of the sciatic nerve. It often encompasses a painful disorder extending from the hip down the back of the thigh and surrounding area. It is painful, life-hindering, and has the potential to cause the highest level of disability of all back pains.
The orthopedic medicine department of a hospital in Norway determined to examine the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for patients with severe sciatic pain. They studied 44 workers who had developed sciatica at work. The patients in this study experienced pain that was severe enough that it required hospitalization.
In the study, the hospital chiropractor performed a full examination of each patient and then proceeded with joint adjustment techniques. Ice treatment was applied after the adjustment, since there was soft-tissue soreness experienced by the patients.
These patients were treated daily during their hospital stay, followed by 3 days a week for the first 2 weeks while in the clinic. Some patients also received follow-up treatment once or twice a week for some time. Norwegian public health regulations will only allow refunding for 14 treatments, so the total number of treatments rarely exceeded this.
At the end of these chiropractic treatments, a full 91% of the patients (a total of 40) had returned to full-time work within an average of 21 days. Two patients returned to 80% of their previous work load, and the last patient at 50%.
This study points out the effectiveness of seeing your chiropractor for work-related sciatica. Norwegian public health records show that the average patient with sciatica – and not under the care of a chiropractor – is disabled for 72 days. In this study, patients who received the care of a chiropractor returned to work in just 21 days. That is a 70% reduction!
The bottom line is this: if you are experiencing pain from some type of work-related sciatica, see your chiropractor. Much can be done to reduce the pain in a far more timely manner than ever before. You can be back to your normal hours and capacity in a shorter period of time. And the best part is – that debilitating pain is gone from your life!
Stover BD, Turner JA, Franklin G, et al. Factors associated with early opioid prescription among workers with low back injuries. Journal of Pain 2006;7(10):718-25.
Arana E, Marti-Bonmati L, Vega M, et al. Relationship between low back pain, disability, MR imaging findings and health care provider. Skeletal Radiology 2006;35(9):641-7.
Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30:135-139.