Sciatica Treatment

Doctors usually do not recommend any drastic or invasive procedures in response to conditions like sciatica, although surgery may be needed for cases where the spinal column or spinal cord has already been compromised or damaged. Below are the most common conventional treatments for sciatic pain.

Non-Invasive Treatments for Sciatica

1.      Pain killers. Taking painkillers is the most common treatment for sciatic pain, for obvious reasons. Not all cases of sciatica require surgery or hospitalization, and many people can just wait out the pain at home.

A combination of lifestyle changes and adequate rest usually works. Sciatica patients are usually asked to take NSAID drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to help alleviate some of the pain associated with sciatica and lower back pain, in general.

In mild cases of sciatica, the usual ibuprofen or aspirin (both OTC drugs) can be used to alleviate the pain.

If the pain does not subside and continues to intensify, your GP or family physician may prescribe stronger painkillers, such as codein. Opiate-based painkillers are prescription drugs and should only be used when recommended by doctors. The ‘final frontier’ or last resort when it comes to sciatica is muscle relaxants.

It should be noted that muscle relaxants, specifically, can cause drowsiness. You must not operate any heavy machinery or drive within twenty four hours after any muscle relaxant has been administered.

You must not take the risk. It is possible to fall asleep if you have just been administered a muscle relaxant to reduce back pain. Do not underestimate drugs like diazepam, as these are very potent drugs.

 2.      Working out/Regular exercises. Believe it or not, some physicians recommend daily exercise to alleviate pain. Exercise is sort of a wonder drug in the medical field because it can help the human body in so many ways.

Sciatica Exercise

Regular exercise, combined with adequate, positive lifestyle changes and weight loss, can reduce pressure on the heart , kidneys, liver, and yes, even your spinal column. If you feel as if your body is suffering from the extra pounds, now is the best time to engage in regular exercise. I assure you, you will not regret that you did!

People who suffer from sciatica usually perform some combination of the following types of exercises:

-          Strength workouts

-          Stretching

-          Aerobics (low-impact routines)

 3. Hot packs/cold packs. Some sciatica patients prefer direct heat, while others prefer applying cold packs to allev
iate the pain. Try both kinds of compression packs and see which works best. You can also try using both.

4. Corticosteroids. When all else has failed, a direct injection of a steroid-based anti-inflammatory agent may be prescribed by your doctor. Corticosteroids work directly on the site of the pain and swelling.

Corticosteroid injections often work quickly. Chronic sciatica sufferers may ask their doctors if a corticosteroid is a good choice for alleviating sciatic pain. The goal of a corticosteroid injection is to immediately reduce any compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which may have been caused by tissue inflammation or muscle tightness.

5. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). As we have discussed earlier, some people can cope with pain excellently, while others do not. If you have poor tolerance of pain, you may want to explore the possibility of undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy uses exercises to condition a patient to behave differently to a particular event or stimulus. CBT can be used on children, teens, and adults.

6. Anti-depressant medication. Current research shows that anti-depressant medication may be effective in alleviating lower back pain, even in individuals who do not suffer from clinical depression.

Tricyclic medication, a type of anti-depressive, has been touted as an effective alternative for individuals who are not responding to regular painkillers such as NSAID drugs and opioid-based painkillers during acute bouts of upper and lower back pain. It appears that tricyclic medications are more effective when prescribed to people with chronic pain issues.

What’s Next?

Continue to read more in depth information about sciatica. We recommend you get started with a better understanding of the causes and other treatment methods of sciatica. Check out the following pages:


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