The effect of lipoic acid on chronic sciatic pain: clinical data from 44 Italian centers

April 23, 2017 Consumer Blog By


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.


  1. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017 Apr;21(7):1653-1664.
  2. Checchia GA1, Letizia Mauro G, Morico G, Oriente A, Lisi C, Polimeni V, Lucia M, Ranieri M; Management of Peripheral Neuropathies Study Group.

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