Sciatica Treatments and Home Remedies

The lower lumbar spine's sciatic nerve roots, sometimes referred to as the lumbar radicles in medicine, are compressed or irritated, which results in sciatica. Beginning in the lower spine and radiating down to the legs, this pressure causes excruciating pain, numbness, and weakness. Chronic joint back discomfort is another possible effect. Between 10% and 40% of people have sciatica problems at a particular time, making it a prevalent ailment.

The sciatic nerve leaves the lower spine and runs down each leg, passing via the hips and glutes.

The most frequent cause of sciatica is pressure on a portion of the nerve caused by a herniated disc or an excess growth of bones. This results in swelling, discomfort, and perhaps partial paralysis in the affected limb.

Despite the severity of the pain involved with sciatica, most patients improve with therapy and treatment in a few weeks. Patients who experience acute sciatica, significant limb weakness, or bladder or intestinal problems may require surgery.


In practically any location along the nerve route, sciatica pain can occur. The low back, pelvis, and rear of the thigh and calf are the areas where it is most likely to go.

A dull aching to a severe, scorching agony can all be experienced. A zap or electric shock could occasionally be the feeling. It can get worse when you cough, sneeze or sit down for a prolonged period. Just one portion of the body is typically affected by sciatica.

Some individuals also experience stinging, numbness, or muscle cramps in their feet or leg. Both painful and numb sensations can occur in the same area of the portion.

Sciatica can strike at any age, but the 40s are when it manifests itself most frequently. Men and women are equally affected by it. A genetic predisposition is one potential factor, while some researchers haven't identified this to be a major one. Personal characteristics like smoking, tension, posture, and age bracket are well-known factors that increase the likelihood of sciatica. Sciatica has some frequent causes, such as −

  • Spinal stenosis in the lower back

  • The disease of the degenerating disc

  • Spondylolisthesis

  • Muscle cramps in the buttocks or lower back

  • Damage to the spinal cord

As the uterus grows, it presses against the sciatic nerve, causing some pregnant women to have sciatica symptoms. The possibility of acquiring sciatica may be increased in some professions. For instance, truck drivers and other workers who spend a lot of time sitting down risk having pressure on their spinal cord nerves.

Many patients seek medical guidance for sciatica pain relief if at-home treatments, such as applying heat and over-the-counter pain medicines, are ineffective at reducing symptoms. A neurosurgeon, physiotherapist, or doctor who specializes in pain management may be recommended to you by your family doctor to treat your sciatica.


Treatment options for sciatica include a mix of over-the-counter drugs, and at-home care is typically used to treat sciatic nerve pain. According to specialists, symptoms for approximately 80 to 90 percent of people suffering from acute sciatica disappear within weeks.

While most cases of sciatica go away by themselves within a few long periods, certain instances might last for months or even years. The majority of sciatica patients can be treated at home; however, in certain severe cases, when symptoms limit movement or interfere with everyday activities, surgery may be necessary.

Doctors may advise more harsh treatment because prolonged sciatica is a lifelong ailment. Even though the pain from chronic sciatica is typically less severe, it may still need to be treated when flare-ups occur. There are many different forms of treatment, such as home care, prescription drugs, corticosteroid shots, physiotherapy, and operations. Surgery can help with several diseases that can lead to sciatica, including spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, ruptured discs, and spine tumors. Surgery, though, is typically a last resort.

The following are examples of home treatment

  • Applying heat or cold to the sore spots

  • You were stretching your legs, hips, and hamstrings (the muscles on the backside of your thighs) in particular.

  • Avoid spending too much time sitting down.

  • Going to a physiotherapist for guidance with stretching, cold or heat therapies, and activities to bolster the abdominal muscles that help support the vertebrae.

  • Using painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs as your doctor has prescribed.

  • Acupuncture or other alternative therapies that can help with total body alignment, such as the Alexander technique, should be tried.

The following are some medical treatments for sciatica pain

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications taken orally (NSAIDs)

  • prescription painkillers

  • drugs that relax the muscles

  • Anticonvulsant

  • swallowed corticosteroids

  • dosages of corticosteroids

  • Physical exercise

  • Surgical procedure

Sciatica can be treated with one of five different medication types. They comprise −

  • Acetaminophen and NSAIDs − NSAIDs and over-the-counter pain medicines, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, are frequently effective for treating acute pain. These can only be used temporarily. If you need pain medication for more extended periods, talk to your doctor. The digestive tract's lining can become irritated and agitated as a side effect.

  • Muscle relaxants − These medications can be beneficial when muscle spasms are the root cause of sciatica. These include methocarbamol, cyclobenzaprine, and carisoprodol. In elderly patients, muscle relaxants might lead to disorientation. Several negative symptoms include reduced blood pressure, dry mouth, and weariness.

  • Tricyclic antidepressants − Medications for depression may lessen the discomfort of the nerves. Doctors give medications at smaller concentrations than for depression when used to assist control pain. These medicines consist of nortriptyline and amitriptyline. The side effects include a sore throat, constipation, weight increase or loss, decreased blood pressure, rashes, and an accelerated heart rate.

  • Anticonvulsants − These drugs block the nerves' transmission of pain signals, which lessens the discomfort associated with sciatica. The full effects may not be felt for up to three or four weeks, and you must keep taking the medications although when you aren't in pain. Gabapentin and pregabalin are a couple of these. Weight gain, tiredness, exhaustion, nausea, tremors, and rash are some of the side effects.

  • Steroids − The oral anti-inflammatory drug prednisone is a type of steroid. Some of the side effects are high blood pressure, sleep deprivation, increased appetite, faster body hair growth, and blurred eyesight. To minimize swelling and inflammation, steroids can also be administered via injection into the lower back. Directly into the affected tendons, the infusion delivers a more significant dose. A few months may pass before the effects of steroid shots wear off. The area around the surgical site may experience osteoporosis, dermal and soft tissue erosion, joint infection, cartilage damage, tendon weakening, and other adverse effects.


Sciatica might reoccur, and its prevention is not always achievable. To safeguard your spine −

  • Do frequent exercise. Exercise the abdominal and lower back muscles necessary for proper posture and alignment to maintain the strength of the back. An expert in health care may make suggestions.

  • As you sit, maintain good posture. Ensure that your seat has armrests, a swivel base, and decent lower back support. Placing a pillow or towel in the back's small area will help the low back maintain its natural curve and provide better support. Knees and hips should remain level.

  • Utilize your body correctly. Rest one foot sometimes on a chair or platform when standing for extended periods. Give your legs a break when lifting something heavy. Keep the load snug against your body. Avoid simultaneously lifting and twisting. Recruit assistance to lift any difficult or heavy objects.

There is no "optimal" remedy for sciatica; numerous alternative options are available. One person's solution might not be suitable for the other. Finding the perfect medication and dosage for you can occasionally take time because everyone's body responds differently. When recommending a course of treatment for you, your specialist will consider your current health, medical records, and any other medications you are currently taking.