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What are some good methods for relieving sciatica pain?

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Quick Answer

Pain medications, physical therapy and surgery are all methods of relieving the pain caused by sciatica, according to WebMD. There are also various complementary and alternative medicine treatments for sciatica pain, although there is no empirical evidence to back up claims of effectiveness of these treatments.

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Full Answer

Various medications are useful in treating sciatica pain, notes WebMD. These include over-the-counter pain relief medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen and naproxen. Prescription-strength muscle relaxers may also help. Some doctors prescribe antidepressants to relieve lower back pain caused by the condition and may order prescription-strength pain medications for more intense sciatica pain. In addition, doctors may recommend steroids injected into the space surrounding the spinal nerve.

Physical therapy often relieves sciatica pain, reports WebMD. Physical therapists customize sessions depending on the cause and location of the sciatic pain to provide relief to that specific area. When sciatica pain persists for longer than six weeks, doctors sometimes recommend surgical remedies. The type of surgery required depends on the cause of the sciatic pain; for example, surgery to repair a herniated disc relieves pressure on the sciatic nerve. Some sciatica sufferers respond well to alternative therapies such as acupuncture and biofeedback. However, scientific evidence of the efficacy of these treatments is nonexistent, so doctors are wary of recommending them.

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