Sciatica Treatment

Treatment of Sciatica

It is better to stay moderately active when you suffer from Sciatica. Formerly, it was recommended to keep the bed. Nowadays, we know that it brings no therapeutic benefit and that by remaining active, it promotes healing. That being said, if the pain comes to a point where you have to rest in bed, it is fine to do, but not more than 48 hours. If the pain is not relieved by rest or is unbearable, it is better to consult a doctor again.

Sciatica is usually treated well within a few weeks. When the neuralgia is caused by a specific disease, recovery or control by medications typically cause the disappearance of symptoms. In pregnant women, sciatica tends to disappear after childbirth.

Medications to Cure Sciatica


Various medications can be used to relieve the pain. The first recommended is acetaminophen or paracetamol (Tylenol ®).

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs available over-the-counter also have a pain-killing effect, as well as anti-inflammatory (for example, ibuprofen (Advil ®, Motrin ®) and acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin ®)).

However, they are no more effective than acetaminophen to relieve the symptoms, according to studies.

Moreover, their usefulness in the case of sciatica is questioned. Indeed, most of the time, the inflammation is not in question.

That said, if a proper dosage of acetaminophen does not effectively relieve pain, you can opt for anti-inflammatory non-steroidal and observe if the result is better. Inquire about precautions and contraindications.

If pain is resistant to these drugs, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory non-steroidal at higher doses or drugs prescribed by the doctor can be used.

It may also have recourse to local injections of a mixture of analgesics and corticosteroids. You must be aware that these treatments offer relief in the short term, but not for long-term benefit.

Practical Advice
-The most comfortable sleeping positions would be on the side with a pillow between the knees and under the head. You can also lie on the back with the knees and head and shoulders slightly elevated by pillows.

-In the first 48 hours, applying cold on the painful area can alleviate the pain. To do this, use an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Affixed to the painful area for 10-12 minutes. Repeat the application every 2 hours or as needed.

-Subsequently, the heat can be beneficial. It helps to relax sore muscles. Take a hot water bath is ideal. Otherwise, apply several times per day a source of heat (a hot, moist towel or a heating pad).

Applications of heat and cold on sore muscles are used for a long time. However, recent studies cast doubt on their real usefulness to relieve lombaires4 pain. There is more evidence to support the use of heat and cold.

The Benefits of Physical Activities

It is preferable not to cease regular activities for more than 24 hours to 48 hours.

Studies show that people who remain active recover more rapidly. Staying active helps to release tension in the muscles and preserves muscle mass. If the pain is important, resting in bed during one day or two is acceptable.

However, you should resume fresh activities as quickly as possible, as soon as the pain becomes tolerable, because it promotes healing.

When pain is present, it is advisable to limit the daily physical activity and some light physical exercises, such as walking. These soft activities will not worsen the problem.

On the contrary, they are beneficial. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphin, hormones that inhibit the transmission of pain messages.

Subsequently, the intensity of physical exercise can gradually be increased. Swimming, stationary cycling or other low-impact exercises are generally beneficial.



If the pain manifests itself for more than 4-6 weeks, a physiotherapist consultation is recommended. Various exercises and stretching to correct posture, strengthen the back muscles and improve flexibility are available.

To be effective, the exercises should be practiced on a regular basis.

Physiotherapy may also include soft massages, exposure to heat and electrotherapy.

Massages are usually shallow, slow and regular maneuvers that allow to soften the painful area.

Different sources are directed to sore muscles: the infrared, hot wraps, a hot spa (in Europe, Thalassotherapy is often incorporated into the treatment of the sciatica and back pain).

Electrotherapy. Ultrasound, Transcutaneous electrical stimulation or TENS, the ionization, laser, etc. are also pain relievers by blurring the nerve messages.

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