To provide information on the clinical presentation of sciatic neuropathy and its management in a real-world setting, and to analyze the effects of a multimodal approach based on the association of physical and pharmacological therapy.
A multicentric observational prospective study was conducted in 44 Italian tertiary centers specialized in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Orthopedics, Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Rheumatology. To develop a shared management of LPB with sciatica, a dedicated clinical record was proposed to collect data about diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes. Pain, disability, and quality of life were recorded trough validated questionnaires at baseline and after a two-month follow-up.
394 patients (age, mean ± SD 55.7 ± 14.1 years, 57.1% females) with chronic LBP and sciatica were enrolled in the study. The characteristics of the selected group showed a certain variability in the clinical presentation. At baseline, patients received several different therapeutic options among physical, pharmacological and neurotrophic treatments. A subgroup of 312 patients was treated with a combination of neurotrophic agents containing alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). After a two-month follow-up, a general improvement in both perceived pain and functional disabilities was observed. A significant improvement (p < 0.001) in the Pain Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), Roland e Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) and Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) Italian short version was observed.
Sciatic neuropathy is a multifaceted condition managed by means of a wide spectrum of therapeutic options. The results of this study suggest that a multimodal approach based on the association of ALA with physical and pharmacological therapies can be beneficial in the treatment of LBP with sciatica.