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How To Manage Sciatica Pain at Home

Sciatica is where the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet, is irritated or compressed. It usually gets better in 4 to 6 weeks but can last longer.





Check if you have sciatica

If you have sciatica, your:

  • bottom

  • back of your leg

  • foot and toes


may feel:

  • painful – the pain may be stabbing, burning or shooting

  • tingling – like pins and needles

  • numb

  • weak


Your symptoms may be worse when moving, sneezing or coughing.

You may also have back pain, but it's not usually as bad as the pain in your bottom, leg or foot.

Information:

You probably do not have sciatica if you only have back pain.


How you can ease the pain yourself


Sciatica usually gets better in 4 to 6 weeks, but it can sometimes last longer.

To help relieve your pain and speed up recovery:


Do

  • carry on with your normal activities as much as possible

  • regular exercises for sciatica

  • start gentle exercise as soon as you can – anything that gets you moving can help

  • hold heat packs to the painful areas – you can buy these from pharmacies

  • ask your pharmacist about painkillers (paracetamol is unlikely to help and it's not clear how much NSAIDs help with sciatica)

  • put a small, firm cushion between your knees when sleeping on your side, or several firm pillows underneath your knees when lying on your back

Don’t

  • do not sit or lie down for long periods – even if moving hurts, it's not harmful and can help you get better faster

  • do not use hot water bottles to ease the pain – you could scald yourself if your skin is numb

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