Treatments for a pinched sciatic nerve include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral corticosteroids, narcotics, steroid injections and physical therapy, says WebMD. Other treatments include surgery and use of a splint. A doctor chooses a particular treatment method basing on the severity of a patient's condition.
In some cases, sciatica gets better on its own after six weeks without treatment, according to NHS Choices. Home treatment measures, such as taking over-the-counter painkillers, applying cold or hot packs and exercising, can help to ease the condition. A doctor prescribes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, to reduce pain and swelling. Receiving steroid injections minimizes swelling and allows irritated nerves to recover. A doctor may recommend the use of a splint to minimize motion, allowing the muscles to rest. A surgical operation is necessary if a condition does not respond to any of these treatments.
The time a pinched sciatic nerve takes to heal varies from one person to another, notes WebMD. Some patients can feel better by just resting the affected area and avoiding activities that may worsen the condition. If the condition is severe, a surgeon removes materials that press against the nerve, such as pieces of bone, scar tissue and disc material.