Sciatica or sciatic nerve pain refers to discomfort that can begin in the back and travel to the buttock or down the legs. Sciatic nerve pain is generally the symptom of an underlying condition such as a herniated disc or nerve problems. Symptoms vary, however, most sufferers deal with numbness, weakness, pain and a tingling sensation. Although uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating, there are ways to treat sciatic nerve pain.
Get plenty of rest. Mild cases of sciatic nerve pain can resolve spontaneously, in which treatment isn't necessary. In this instance, sufferers should rest and reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. Recovery occurs within a few days to a few weeks.
Take over-the-counter pain medications. To reduce pain and discomfort.,over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are effective treatment options. Take the medication as directed.
Consider a pain injection. If sciatic nerve pain doesn't respond to OTC medications, talk to your doctor about a steroid injection. Doctors inject the medication into the affected area and the steroid reduces pain and inflammation.
Apply a cold or heat pack. Alternate between a heat and cold pack to reduce inflammation and cure sciatic nerve pain. Acute pain responds well to cold therapy, whereas heat therapy is a better option for chronic pain.
Talk to your doctor about surgery. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve symptoms. Doctors will surgically remove any lesion that places pressure on the sciatic nerve.