What is the treatment of sciatic nerve pain?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

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.

Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by several factors including a herniated disk or piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle (small, outer-hip muscle) becomes tight and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Some general exercises that may help sciatica include static stretching your hip flexors and piriformis and low-intensity strengthening exercises for your glutes (such as a floor bridge or ball bridge) and deep abdominal muscles (supine marching).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.