In most cases, sciatica will go away by itself with self-care practices like exercising, stretching, over-the-counter medications, and applying cold packs or heat. In some cases, your doctor may recommend other treatments, such as physical therapy or prescription medications. If your sciatica is still not responding to these treatments within three months, your doctor may recommend a more aggressive treatment. This may include corticosteroid injections, which help to reduce inflammation, or surgery. Surgery is usually left as a last resort when no other treatments are working or when serious complications have developed.
A Answers (2)
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answeredHelpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Anthony Komaroff, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredCommon "home remedies" for sciatica include:
- Losing excess weight
- Applying ice
- Stretching and exercising, with the goal of strengthening the muscles of the abdomen and low back
- Avoiding sitting too long, especially on a hard surface
- Changing your mattress to one that is firmer and more supportive
Standard medical approaches to treatment include:
- Rest, balanced with stretching and exercise (often with a physical therapist)
- Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen
- Drugs for nerve pain, such as amitriptyline (Elavil) or gabapentin (Neurontin)
- Injections of corticosteroids near the area of the compressed nerve
- Surgery to repair a slipped disc or to decompress spinal stenosis (though surgery is generally considered a treatment of last resort and only in cases in which a surgically correctable abnormality is present)
Find out more about this book:Harvard Medical School Low Back Pain: Healing your aching back