Sciatica is a common cause of pain in the lower back, buttocks, and legs, but the good news is that there are several types of treatment available. Remedies for sciatica pain can be obtained from a doctor, and usually include physical therapy and prescription medication to stop the pain. Many people opt for home remedies for sciatica pain since they are typically simple enough for anyone to do, and include tools that many people already have, such as hot and cold packs. In some cases, more aggressive treatment is needed, including surgery.
A trip to the doctor for sciatica pain usually results in prescription drugs for most people. Narcotics can be used to help manage pain, while a muscle relaxant and drugs to fight inflammation may also be prescribed. More serious cases may require antidepressants to help increase the amount of endorphins in the body, or injections of corticosteroids to decrease inflammation and therefore reduce pain. Not all remedies for sciatica pain given by a doctor involve medication, as physical therapy exercises can also be provided by a doctor or physical therapist. Exercises focus on improving posture and strengthening back muscles, and are usually meant to be completed everyday.
There are various home remedies for sciatica pain, as well, most of which require household items like hot or cold packs. Ice packs can be used to reduce inflammation and numb the area temporarily when the sciatica pain is first felt, and should be held to the affected area for about 20 minutes at a time throughout the day. A few days after the pain is first noticed, hot packs or heating pads can be applied to the affected area, either instead of the cold packs or alternating with them. Additionally, medications that most people probably already have at home, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin, can be taken to help relieve the pain. Regularly performing low-impact exercise and stretches for the lower back can help keep the pain at bay as well.
Some severe cases require more aggressive remedies for sciatica pain, which typically include surgical procedures. Diskectomy is the most common type of surgery performed for sciatica, and it involves taking out part of the herniated disk that is putting pressure on the nerve. Most doctors try to leave as much of the disk as possible, so that the patient can still move regularly, and this surgery is typically only done when bowel or bladder issues result from the compressed sciatic nerve.