Ways to Treat Sciatica

The sciatica nerve is the longest nerve in your body that runs from your lower back through your hips and buttocks down[WU1]  to each leg. Sciatica is pain that results from irritation or injury to this nerve. Sciatica pain occurs in your lower back, buttock, and leg. You also experience numbness or weakness in the lower back, buttock, leg, and feet and lose bowel or bladder control. If your sciatica causes bowel or bladder control loss, your doctor Adam E. Shestack MD, will give you immediate care. A herniated disc is one of the most common causes of sciatica. Being obese, having osteoarthritis, having poor posture when lifting heavy objects, and having spine injuries can increase your chance of sciatica. There are many treatments for sciatica, and here are some.

Heat and cold therapies

Heat and cold therapy are home treatment options. You can reduce pain and inflammation around the affected area by applying ice packs wrapped in a towel. Apply them for about twenty minutes, about three to four times a day. After several days, you can switch to a heating pad for twenty minutes several times daily. If your pain persists, use the remedy that works for you best.


Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen help reduce swelling and pain. Acetaminophen can help ease the pain but not inflammation. Ensure you take the medicines as instructed. Your doctor can prescribe muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine if you have muscle spasms.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy involves exercises that help reduce sciatica by reducing pressure on your sciatic nerve. Your physical therapist can help you develop an exercise program that fits your unique needs. Physical therapy helps improve muscle strength and flexibility.


Your doctor may recommend spinal injections if medications do not ease your pain. They involve your provider injecting a corticosteroid, an anti-inflammatory drug, into your lower back to alleviate pain and inflammation around the irritated nerve root. Spinal injections ease your pain temporarily, typically for about three months. You can only use corticosteroid injections for a short term, as long-term use may lead to adverse side effects.

Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies help manage many types of pain. Alternative treatments that help manage sciatica include yoga, acupuncture, and chiropractic spinal manipulation. Massage can ease muscle spasms, and biofeedback may reduce pain and stress.


Rarely do doctors recommend surgery to treat sciatica. The treatment option is essential if other techniques are ineffective, you have severe weakness in your extremities, or you lose bladder and bowel control. Sciatica surgery primarily relieves pressure on the pinched nerve and stabilizes your spine. There are various surgical options for sciatica, which include:


Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgery. It involves your surgeon removing the fragments of a herniated disc pressing on your nerve.


Laminectomy involves your surgeon removing part of your vertebral bone, causing pressure on the sciatic nerve. It helps reduce pain and improve other symptoms. Recovery takes six weeks to three months, depending on your overall health.

Sciatica happens when your sciatic nerve is injured or irritated. Depending on the cause and your symptoms, your doctor can treat sciatica through medications, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or surgery. Schedule an appointment at Florida Pain Management Institute for sciatica treatment to relieve your back pain.