Sciatica Pain Relief
One to two days of bed rest, at most, is also recommended for relief from sciatica pain. A 1996 Finnish study found that people who continued their activities without bed rest following the start of lower back pain symptoms appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week. It is important to note that other studies suggested that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications, such as:
- Decreased muscle tone
- Blood clots in the legs.
Therefore, you should resume activities as soon as possible. Doctors also recommend that at night or during rest, people lie on one side with a pillow between their knees or on their back with a pillow beneath their knees.
Medications are often used for sciatica pain relief. Effective relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking drugs for pain relief. Certain medicines, even those sold over-the-counter may:
- Be unsafe during pregnancy
- Conflict with other medications
- Cause side effects, including drowsiness
- Lead to liver damage.
Medications that are typically used to treat sciatica pain include:
- Pain medicines
Over-the-counter or prescription pain medicines can be taken to reduce stiffness, swelling, and/or inflammation and to ease mild to moderate lower back pain. The most commonly used medicines for relief from sciatica pain include acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as:
Counterirritants are applied topically to the skin as a cream or spray to stimulate the nerve endings in the skin and to provide feelings of warmth or cold and dull the sense of pain. Topical analgesics can also reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow. Many of these compounds contain salicylates, which is the same ingredient found in oral pain medications containing aspirin.