Bed rest has been the primary treatment for sciatica for most of the 20th century. Sciatica is a severe pain in the leg caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve at the lower back. Physicians have traditionally sent patients with symptomatic herniated discs to bed for days, weeks, and even months on the premise that bed rest speeds recovery. However, this advice appears to be erroneous, according to the first methodologically rigorous randomized trial of rest for sciatica (Vroomen et al., 1999).
In the new study, patients who remained cautiously active had exactly the same outcomes as those who spent two weeks in bed. There were no differences between the two groups in terms of pain, neurologic status, functional status, or lost work time.
Patients should no longer be told that it must be strict bed rest. Some prescribed that walking would be desirable to punctuate any rest and avoid deconditioning.
This study essentially confirms what chiropractors have been recommending for years. Regardless of whether a disc is involved with an individual's low back pain or sciatica, early return to activity is a key to recovery.
Thatcher Chiropractic is located at 3535 American Drive in Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917 near the intersection at Austin Bluffs Parkway and Academy Boulevard. For more information you can visit our website at thatcherchiropractic.com. If you have additional questions or wish to schedule an appointment with us, you can reach us by phone at (719) 574-3700.