For people with back pain caused by sciatica, it might be a good idea to start physical therapy sooner rather than later, a new clinical trial suggests.
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, through the hip and down the back of the leg. It's often the result of a bulging spinal disc that compresses the nerve.
Surgery can cut pain intensity by more than half among patients struggling with long-term sciatica, researchers report.
"Sciatica is the symptom of pain that radiates down the leg and is caused by compression of a nerve root in the spinal canal by a disc herniation," explained study author Dr. Chris Bailey. He's an associate professor of surgery with the Bone and Joint Institute at We...