In the greatest majority of cases, people will find that self-care measures of treatment are effective enough and that they can successfully relieve the pain, which is definitely the most prominent symptom of this problem. Among such measures are applications of cold and hot packs, performing some stretching exercise and the rarely avoided use of pain relievers which do not require medical prescription.
However, what the doctors are very likely to recommend is physical therapy, which usually plays the most important role in recovering from sciatica and in preventing it recurrence. A physical therapist will recommend a particular program for each particular case, because not all the cases can be treated in the same way, regardless of the fact that the diagnosis is the same. Exercises that will contribute to the correction of posture and strengthening of the muscles that support the back are usually of crucial importance here, particularly since they also have a positive effect on the person’s flexibility.
There are cases which might benefit from muscle relaxants and some anti-inflammatory medications, and the doctors can prescribe them if they are necessary. Also, in cases in which severe pain is present, stronger pain relievers such as narcotics need to be used, and they also require the prescription. As for other medications that can provide relief, anticonvulsants and even antidepressants might also be employed.
The treatment methods which are more aggressive
In some cases, all the above mentioned methods of treatment will prove to be ineffective even after a few months, and such cases will require employment of more aggressive methods.
Injection of corticosteroid medications right into the area which is affected might provide help and relief in such cases because they are very effective when inflammation needs to be suppressed. However, not all the doctors favor them in cases of sciatica, particularly due to the possible side effects and due to the fact that there are researches that proof that the relief provided by epidural steroid injections is not long-term.
Since sciatica can also cause a number of other health problems, if a person experiences bowel or bladder incontinence, for instance, or if the pain constantly aggravates, then he or she will have to undergo a surgery. Those procedures that are performed in cases of sciatica are standard diskectomy and microdiskectomy, and as for the success rate of each of them, both of them are equally successful.