To relieve sciatica nerve pain, apply a cold pack, use a heat compress, do lower back stretches and take pain-relieving medications, recommends Mayo Clinic. Sciatica pain usually subsides naturally through self-care remedies, although severe sciatica may require additional medication, physical therapy, radioactive iodine or surgery.
It is important to stay active, as prolonged inactivity can worsen sciatica nerve pain, notes Mayo Clinic. You should continue with your usual routine, with the exception of the activity that caused the sciatica pain. Apply a cold pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to the painful area for 20 minutes, several times daily. Two or three days later, apply a heat pack. You may want to switch between cold and hot compresses for maximum relief.
Do lower back stretches that last at least 30 seconds each time, recommends Mayo Clinic. Avoid any jolting or twisting movements. If pain continues, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as naproxen or ibuprofen.
Severe cases of sciatica may require prescription pain medications, anti-seizure medications, narcotics, muscle relaxants or tricyclic antidepressants, states Mayo Clinic. If pain continues, a doctor may recommend physical therapy or radioactive iodine taken orally. Particularly severe cases of sciatica may require surgical intervention to remove a herniated disk.