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Review Shows Lack of Evidence for Medical and Physical Therapy Treatments for Disk Herniation

Man With Back Pain Low Back Pain Treatment Options Prahran Windsor St Kilda East


A Natural Connection

December 2018

© The Wellness Practice © Dr. James L. Chestnut M.Sc, D.C., C.C.W.P.


"The few randomized trials of NSAIDs for sciatica are generally of low quality, and trials to assess the use of acetaminophen (Panadol) in patients with sciatica are lacking."

"There is insufficient evidence to judge the efficacy of antiepileptic drugs, antidepressants, or muscle relaxants in patients with sciatica."

"A systematic review showed that patients with radiculopathy who received epidural glucocorticoid [cortisone] injections had slightly better pain relief (by 7.5 points on a 100-point scale) [clinically meaningless] and functional improvement at 2 weeks than patients who received placebo. There were no significant advantages at later follow-up and no effect on long-term rates of surgery."


"Unless patients have major neurologic deficits, surgery is generally appropriate only in those who have nerve-root compression that is confirmed on CT or MRI, a corresponding sciatica syndrome, and no response to 6 weeks of conservative therapy."



"Cohort studies suggest that the condition of many patients with a herniated lumbar disk improves in 6 weeks; thus, conservative therapy is generally recommended for 6 weeks in the absence of a major neurological deficit."


Key Concepts:

The available drug, injection, surgical, and physical therapy treatments for herniated disk and "sciatica" are clinically ineffective and the dangerous adverse effects associated with drugs, epidural glucocorticoid [cortisone] injections, and surgeries are well documented. These interventions are routinely offered not because they have good evidence of effectiveness or safety but because they have nothing else to offer. Sadly, too many still refuse to refer for chiropractic care even though there is evidence that chiropractic is the most effective treatment option.

Key Take Home Points:

Healthcare should be evidence-based and all patients should be provided with accurate information before choosing a treatment option. When it comes to the available treatments for disk herniation and sciatica, the best available option is chiropractic adjustments/manipulations combined with exercise and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and probiotic.


Brought to you by:

Dr Nathan's Chiropractic Studio

Phone: 0400041976



Are you wanting to solve that ache or pain that is slowing you down? Are you looking for a natural approach a spinal health issue? For more advice or for a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your back pain please contact Dr. Nathan Jenner (Chiropractor) 040 041 976.

Dr Nathan's Chiropractic Studio is located in Prahran/Windsor serving patients from South Yarra, Toorak, Malvern, St Kilda, St Kilda East in Melbourne's inner south eastern suburbs . Dr Nathan's Chiropractic Studio is located just off Chapel Street, near the corner of High and Chapel Street.

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