What Are Some Treatments for Sciatica Nerve Pain?


Quick Answer

Treatment options for sciatic nerve pain, also known as sciatica, include physical therapy, certain medications, steroid injections and surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. Home treatments include stretching, over-the-counter pain relievers, hot packs and cold packs.

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Full Answer

Doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, narcotics, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure drugs and tricyclic antidepressants to treat sciatica, states Mayo Clinic. Physical therapy is normally prescribed to prevent injuries as soon as pain begins to improve, and it may include strength-building and posture-correcting exercises. A corticosteroid injection may be applied to the nerve root for temporary pain relief. The number of injections the patient receives is limited due to potential side effects. If incontinence, weakness or progressive pain result from the compressed nerve, surgery may be recommended to relieve pressure by removing a piece of the offending herniated disk or bone spur.

Patients should rest for a day or two after acute sciatic nerve pain is triggered but then resume daily activities to hasten healing, explains Mayo Clinic. A cold pack can be applied several times a day for up to 20 minutes, and a hot pack may be used three to four days after the pain is triggered. Slow, gentle stretching and over-the-counter pain medications such as naproxen and ibuprofen may also provide relief.

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