Sciatica

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Struggling With Sciatica?

Quick GuideSciatica Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Sciatica Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Are there home remedies and exercises for sciatica?

Keys to the management of acute sciatica include relief of pain and relaxing associated muscle spasms. Home remedies include heat and cold pack topical administration, over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and aspirin, and gradual exercises and stretching. Exercises and stretching can sometimes best be guided by physical therapists.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with sciatica? Is it possible to prevent sciatica?

Depending on the precise cause of the sciatica and the duration of symptoms, the outlook for recovery from sciatica ranges from excellent to having long-term chronic symptoms.

Sciatica can be prevented to some extent by avoiding low back trauma injuries. Conditioning exercises, such as yoga and Pilates, can sometimes help to prevent injury to the low back. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 2/10/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.

Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Patrick, C.A.J. Vroomen, Marc C.T.F.M. de Krom, Jan T. Wilmink, D.M. Arnold, J. Kester, and Andre Knottnerus. "Lack of Effectiveness of Bed Rest for Sciatica." N Engl J Med 340 (1999): 418- 423.

Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 2000

Additional resources from WebMD Boots UK on Sciatica

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