The Medical Options for Sciatica Treatment

It is common for sciatica, pain in the leg because of compression of the sciatic nerve in the lower back, to go away in 6 to 12 weeks with home treatment or alternative medicine techniques. However, when the pain is moderate to severe and debilitating and/or lasts longer, patients are recommended to go for medical sciatica treatment. Let’s take a closer look at the options in this category.
Medications for Pain Relief
Some people may feel better with over the counter pain relievers and more specifically non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as those containing ibuprofen. Oral steroids or narcotics can be prescribed by a doctor for severe and debilitating pain. The latter in particular are among the strongest which you can get. That is why they should be used for no more than two weeks. The muscle relaxants also fall into the category of strong meds for sciatica treatment. Just like their counterparts, their use is limited to fourteen days.
Antidepressants can also be used for treating severe pain. Doctors usually prescribe them as last resort. This is because they should be taken under specific rules for a set time. Stopping them involves a special process too. Usually, you cannot just quit taking them.
Steroid Injections into the Pinched Nerve Area
These epidural injections deliver steroid medication directly to the place where the irritated nerve is. As a result, it works directly to reduce the inflammation and the pain associated with it. The major benefit of steroid injections as a sciatica treatment is that their effect lasts longer, usually between a week and several months. Their main drawback is that they can cause serious side effects when they are used too often, as steroid can mess with the hormones in your body.
Surgical Treatment
Doctors typically resort to this option when the patient experiences severe pain for a longer period of time and none of the other conventional and natural therapies work. The surgery is performed on an urgent basis in case the patient has lost bladder and bowel control because of the condition.
The surgical sciatic treatment addresses the cause of the problem. In case it is a herniated spinal disc, the part of the disc which compresses the nerve is removed. This is the most common type of surgery for sciatica and is known for being highly effective. 9 out of 10 patients experience lasting positive results.
No matter which of these sciatic treatment options you receive, you will also be encouraged to enroll in a physical therapy program, which involves exercises for strength and flexibility improvement.