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Sciatic nerve


Question Details

 I have sciatic nerve problems and have tried everything from shots, physical therapy and have been to many doctors and still have had no relief. I now take only Advil and try to get on with my day. Is there any other treatment for this condition?



 Have you tried acupuncture or chiropractic?  Both can be very helpful and both have been scientifically validated to help with certain cases of back pain.  Most insurance plans will now cover part or all of treatments as well.  Contact several local practitioners and see if you can find someone who seems right for you. 

From a supplement approach I would focus on natural compounds that can help to reduce inflammation.  Omega 3 fatty acids possess some of the strongest anti-inflammatory actions.  A good fish oil supplement can help to reduce the symptoms of conditions associated with chronic pain.  Usually, the recommended dose is between 3,000mg to 6,000 mg per day. 

In addition, there are some specific herbs to consider.  Turmeric, boswellia, holy basil and ginger are all herbs that work as natural COX II inhibitors.  The COX II pathway is the system of the body that makes the chemicals responsible for pain and inflammation.  The ibuprofen you are taking works because it has potent COX II inhibiting properties.  The problem is that these potent medications also block the activity of COX I pathways which are responsible for making the protective coating in your gastrointestinal tract.  Long term use can cause serious damage to the stomach and intestines causing irritation and bleeding ulcers.  The herbal substances seem to be able to block COX II activity without the associated negative ramifications on the COX I activity, therefore sparing the gastrointestinal tract of damage.  This may simply be due to a naturally weaker effect on the system vs. the drug.  Herbal therapy for pain relief can often take 7-14 days of consistent use before a beneficial result is noted.  

dL-phenylalanine is an amino acid that is sometimes helpful at modulating pain problems.  It is thought to have analgesic properties through its ability to prevent the degradation of pain blocking endorphins in the brain. 



Back to all Questions     View More by Dr. Kevin Passero

Lead Medical Director

As a certified and fully trained Naturopathic Doctor, Passero has trained and preceptored with some of the nation's leading doctors in the field of natural medicine, working under the guidance of MD’s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. Furthermore, he is currently the Vice President of the Maryland Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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