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How do you treat sciatica?

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Quick Answer

Medications prescribed to treat sciatica pain include anti-inflammatories, narcotics, anti-seizure medications, tricyclic antidepressants and muscle relaxants, according to Mayo Clinic. Corticosteroid injections are used to alleviate pain by reducing inflammation. Once the acute pain is treated, doctors often recommend physical therapy to strengthen muscles supporting the back, improve posture and increase flexibility. If pain fails to improve with conservative treatments, surgery to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve is advised.

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How do you treat sciatica?
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Full Answer

At-home sciatica treatments, such as using cold and hot packs and taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, are sometimes enough to resolve minor sciatica pain, explains Mayo Clinic. Additionally, gently stretching the lower back may help to alleviate nerve root compression. Resting for one or two days is often helpful, but too much inactivity is likely to make sciatica symptoms worse.

As MedlinePlus explains, sciatica is caused by injury to the sciatic nerve that originates in the lower spine and extends down both legs. It results in weakness, pain, numbness or tingling of the leg and is a symptom of an underlying medical problem and not its own condition. It can occur as a result of tumors, spinal stenosis, a slipped disk or Piriformis syndrome, a pain disorder of one of the buttocks muscles. To prevent sciatica, MedlinePlus advises avoiding extended lying or sitting.

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