7 Ways to Manage the Chronic Pain Associated With Sciatica

Sciatica is a secondary spinal disorder that develops after a serious car, slip and fall, or other serious accident when a person suffers a spinal injury. Even with medical treatments like physical therapy and steroid injections, the shooting pain from the sciatica nerve down into your leg can become chronic or recurring. However, you can take steps to reduce the pain and flare-ups.

How to Manage the Symptoms Associated With Sciatica

Self-care regimens and alternative treatments can help to handle the symptoms of sciatica when the disorder recurs and to help prevent recurrences from happening. You could find the following useful:

Cold packs.

An ice pack or a bag of peas wrapped in a towel applied to the sore areas for 20 minutes at a time could provide some relief at the beginning of a recurrence.

Hot packs.

After the first two to three days, you should begin applying heat to the affected areas. For continued pain, alternating hot and cold packs could be helpful.


While you could be tempted to be inactive, this could actually make your symptoms worse. Doing stretching exercises for your lower back could relieve some pain and compression on the nerve root.


You may find taking over-the-counter medications like Advil, Motrin, or Aleve can give you relief from the pain.


Regular exercise, with a focus on the core muscles that support the lower back and abdomen, can help prevent a recurrence of symptoms. Your doctor or physical therapist should be able to recommend specific exercises for your situation.

Proper posture when sitting.

When selecting a chair, look for one with good lower back support, arm rests, and a swivel base. Try to keep your knees and hips level when you are seated.

Alternative remedies.

Alternative health remedies, like acupuncture and chiropractic, may help reduce your pain, although not all patients find these practices helpful.

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