Sciatica treatment

Sciatica is pain going down the back of your leg caused by a herniated disc in your spine. Most of the time it heals on its own, with non-surgical treatment to help with pain, but sometimes surgery is required.

Your spine is made up of bones cushioned by discs. If one of the discs in your lower back herniates, or moves out of position, it can put pressure on nerves that go from your spine down your legs, or sciatica.

Nonsurgical treatment

The majority of patients with sciatica get better without surgery within a few weeks. Your doctor can diagnose the condition and give you details on how to use anti-inflammatory drugs, ice, heat, and exercise to help manage the pain. Your doctor may give you a steroid injection or may recommend physical therapy.

Surgical treatment

If you’ve had pain for several months that isn’t getting better, your doctor may recommend surgery. The surgery may remove part of the bone and the disc that are putting pressure on the nerve, and use a bone graft and metal hardware to replace them.