How to Heal the Sciatic Nerve


Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, refers to discomfort that begins in the lower back and radiates down the legs. According to the Mayo Clinic, sciatic nerve pain is a symptom of another problem such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease or a joint condition problem. But regardless of the cause, there are several ways to heal sciatic nerve.

Things You'll Need

  • Pain medication
  • Heating pad
  • Ice pack
  • Pillow

Limit activity. Temporary sciatic-nerve pain caused by an injury or fall might heal without treatment. Reduce physical activity and rest your body for a few days to see whether your condition improves.

Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Read the package instructions and take as directed.

Consider a stronger anti-inflammatory drug. Ask a doctor about a prescription-strength pain reliever. She might recommend a corticosteroid injection.

Apply a heating pad to painful spots for 20 minutes.

Dull pain with cold therapy, which is another effective remedy for sciatic nerve pain. Apply an ice pack to the sciatic nerve to reduce inflammation--20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.

Discuss treament options with a chiropractor. Based on the severity of the pain, spinal adjustments might reduce nerve pressure and lessen pain.

Remain standing and upright. Constantly bending over or lifting heavy objects can aggravate an inflamed sciatic nerve, as does sitting for long periods. Refrain from bending and lifting, and occasionally stand up or walk to ease pain.

Tips & Warnings

  • If a herniated disc triggers sciatic nerve pain, doctors might recommend surgery to alleviate nerve pressure. An X-ray or other imaging test such as an MRI is necessary to pinpoint the underlying cause. In chronic cases, physical therapy or low-impact exercises such as swimming can stretch and strengthen the muscles in the back and relieve the pain.

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