Over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen, often relieve sciatica pain, according to WebMD. Prescription pain medicine and antidepressants may also help treat sciatica pain.
If sciatica symptoms are not severe but persist for several weeks despite taking pain medication, a doctor may have a patient perform physical therapy, states WebMD. The doctor recommends specific exercises depending where the pain is coming from and could prescribe working with a physical therapist or a physiatrist. If symptoms persist or are severe, a doctor may recommend surgery. The type of surgery depends on what is causing a person's pain. For example, pain caused by a herniated disk often requires back surgery to relieve pressure on the affected nerves.