Sciatica usually heals naturally as long as the original cause of the condition is avoided, but staying active, applying hot or cold packs, and stretching can help to alleviate the symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. Nonnarcotic pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, may help to relieve sciatica pain.
An extended period of inactivity can exacerbate sciatica symptoms, so it is important to try to continue with daily activities if possible, notes Mayo Clinic. Applying a cold pack to the affected part of the knee for up to 20 minutes multiple times per day can provide relief from pain. Two to three days after the sciatica pain begins, a hot pack can be applied to relieve pain. Switching between hot and cold packs can be beneficial to promote healing and reduce pain.
Gently and carefully stretching the lower back can help with sciatica pain. The stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds if possible, advises Mayo Clinic. If home treatments are not effective, a doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications, antiseizure medications or tricyclic antidepressants. In order to prevent further complications, a doctor may recommend physical therapy. For some cases of sciatica, a doctor may recommend a steroid injection, and if the sciatica does not improve or becomes worse, a doctor may recommend surgery.