Poor evidence to guide treatment for sciatica

Poor evidence exists to guide treatment for pain in sciatica, so GPs should follow guidelines for neuropathic pain or low-back pain, researchers in Australia have concluded.

Treatment for sciatica should be the same as management of non-specific low back pain. (Photograph: SPL)
Treatment for sciatica should be the same as management of non-specific low back pain. (Photograph: SPL)

A team from the University of Sydney looked at studies of therapies for sciatica. It said there was insufficient clinical trial evidence to guide use of any analgesic or adjuvant pain drug to manage pain and disability in sciatica.

‘Until this changes, we would advise clinicians treating such patients who exhibit clinical features of neuropathic pain to consider evidence-based guidelines for neuropathic pain and for other patients with sciatica to consider therapeutic recommendations from current guidelines for the management of non-specific low back pain,’ they said.

Tom Moberly recommends

Research - BMJ 2012

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