More research is needed on the treatment of sciatica

November 20, 2012

Topic: orthopaedc problem

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Sciatica is an orthopaedic problem that affects many Americans. Often characterized as lower back pain, it can be treated with minimally invasive treatments, according to a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

This condition occurs when there is pain present in an individual's lower spine or hip that radiates to the back of the thighs and into the legs. It is the result of a herniated disk that presses against the roots of the sciatic nerve, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. It is most commonly diagnosed among people between the ages of 30 and 50 years.

A common treatment for sciatica that has been around for decades involves epidural corticosteroid injections. However, Australian researchers discovered evidence that these shots may not significantly reduce pain associated with sciatica. Despite these findings, they should not be ruled out completely.

"In general, I think we've learned over the years that the epidural injections are turning out to be less and less successful… but there are times when they should be considered," said Kirkham Wood, M.D.

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