A pinched or irritated sciatic nerve can be treated with physical therapy in most instances, reports Spine-health. These exercises relieve pressure on the nerve root, thus alleviating the pain. In some cases, chiropractic manipulation or epidural injections may be needed.
Initial treatment of sciatic nerve pain can be addressed with heat or ice, reports Spine-health. These treatments can be applied for up to 20 minutes every two hours directly to the afflicted area of the spine. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can provide substantial relief to the pain, as swelling of the tissue around the nerve is reduced. Epidural injections of steroids is used in extreme cases of sciatic nerve pain. These injections provide relief from sciatic pain for up to a week.
Chiropractic manipulation may be used to align the spine and treat some of the underlying causes of the irritated nerve root, adds Spine-health. Physical therapy for sciatic nerve pain focuses on back bends to reduce pressure from spinal disks and stretching the hamstrings. Other tight muscles of the hips or back are often addressed, depending on the underlying cause of the nerve pain. Low impact aerobic exercise is always recommended to reduce swelling and encourage circulation of nutrients to the nerve root. Finally, the muscles of the back, abdomen, buttocks and hips are strengthened to prevent future episodes.