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What is the treatment for sciatica?

1 doctor weighed in

In brief: Treatments of sciatica

Though non-surgical treatments and exercise sessions are available to treat sciatica, it goes a long way to relieve your pain.
Here are some treatments options for your reference:

Non-surgical treatments:
One or more combinations will be used for better results:
• Medications
A number of medicines can be used to treat the pain of sciatica. For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or oral steroids can reduce the inflammation. Muscle relaxants, narcotics, tricyclic antidepressants or anti-seizure medications are other options that your doctor will consider based on your situation.

• Pain relieving injections
Injections into or near your spine help deliver pain-reducing medicines directly to the source of pain and can ease sciatica. Right before the injection, you will receive a local anaesthetic to block pain from the injected area. A sedative will be offered to make you relax and ease your anxiety. The two main types of injections include:
o Epidural steroid injection: Steroid is injected directly to the painful area around the sciatic nerve to help reduce the inflammation.
o Nerve root block injection: Targets individual nerves in your spine.


During the treatment, you will be asked to lie on your abdomen or on your side with your knees drawn up and chin tucked in. This position helps to open up the space between the bones in your back. A machine called a fluoroscope is usually positioned close to the area being injected. This shows real-time X-ray images during the procedure and your doctor will use this to guide the needle into the correct place.


The steroid injections are believed to have a relieving effect on your sciatic pain, which allows you to go for physiotherapy training and other rehabilitation programs.


You should be able to start physical therapy within a week of your injection. Injections are not a cure for back pain. It is the physical therapy that will help improve your medical condition in the long run. Remember to schedule physiotherapy sessions for your better recovery.

Alternative treatments:
In addition to standard medical treatments, several alternative treatments including manual manipulation, acupuncture and massage therapy have shown some effects on pain relief.
• Manual manipulation
Manual manipulation is provided by trained health professionals such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc. It offers better spinal column alignment that may address potential causes of sciatica.

• Acupuncture
Acupuncture aims to use hair-thin needles to insert into the skin near the area of pain, achieving wellbeing through specific pathways of the body.

In brief: Treatments of sciatica

Though non-surgical treatments and exercise sessions are available to treat sciatica, it goes a long way to relieve your pain.
Here are some treatments options for your reference:

Non-surgical treatments:
One or more combinations will be used for better results:
• Medications
A number of medicines can be used to treat the pain of sciatica. For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or oral steroids can reduce the inflammation. Muscle relaxants, narcotics, tricyclic antidepressants or anti-seizure medications are other options that your doctor will consider based on your situation.

• Pain relieving injections
Injections into or near your spine help deliver pain-reducing medicines directly to the source of pain and can ease sciatica. Right before the injection, you will receive a local anaesthetic to block pain from the injected area. A sedative will be offered to make you relax and ease your anxiety. The two main types of injections include:
o Epidural steroid injection: Steroid is injected directly to the painful area around the sciatic nerve to help reduce the inflammation.
o Nerve root block injection: Targets individual nerves in your spine.


During the treatment, you will be asked to lie on your abdomen or on your side with your knees drawn up and chin tucked in. This position helps to open up the space between the bones in your back. A machine called a fluoroscope is usually positioned close to the area being injected. This shows real-time X-ray images during the procedure and your doctor will use this to guide the needle into the correct place.


The steroid injections are believed to have a relieving effect on your sciatic pain, which allows you to go for physiotherapy training and other rehabilitation programs.


You should be able to start physical therapy within a week of your injection. Injections are not a cure for back pain. It is the physical therapy that will help improve your medical condition in the long run. Remember to schedule physiotherapy sessions for your better recovery.

Alternative treatments:
In addition to standard medical treatments, several alternative treatments including manual manipulation, acupuncture and massage therapy have shown some effects on pain relief.
• Manual manipulation
Manual manipulation is provided by trained health professionals such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc. It offers better spinal column alignment that may address potential causes of sciatica.

• Acupuncture
Acupuncture aims to use hair-thin needles to insert into the skin near the area of pain, achieving wellbeing through specific pathways of the body.
Quality HealthCare Team
Quality HealthCare Team
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Dr. Eric Weisman
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