“Give it time” & Chiropractic
Leg pain (lumbosacral radiculopathy or sciatica) and loss of motor strength naturally concern patients. “When will it come back?” is a typical question. Keep in mind that studies show that treatment outcomes are quite similar for surgical and non-surgical care of disc herniation patients with leg radiculopathy. (1) One classic study reported that loss of motor strength due to sciatic nerve damage returned over 3 years with 10% in 6 months, 30% at 1 year, 50% at 2 years and 75% at 3 years. (2) A brand-new article concurs: Improvement comes over time regardless of treatment (surgery or non-surgery). Most patients in this new study did not choose surgery. Almost all of them regained full strength at 1 year with it typically occurring in the first 3 months though ongoing recovery took a year. (3) Don’t hold back! Ask us the tough questions. We’ll share with you the research-based answers.
- Hanne A, Manniche C: The Efficacy of Systematic Active Conservative Treatment for Patients With Severe Sciatica: A Single-Blind, Randomized, Clinical, Controlled Trial. Spine 2012;37(7):531–542.
- Yuen E, Olney R, So Y: Sciatic neuropathy: clinical and prognostic features in 73 patients. Neurology 1994;44(9):1669-74.
- Akuthota V, Marshall B, Boimbo S, Osborne MC, Garvan CS, Garvan GJ, et al: Clinical Course of Motor Deficits from Lumbosacral Radiculopathy Due to Disc Herniation. PM R 2019 [Epub ahead of print]