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Sciatica (cont.)

What Are Sciatica Medications and Treatments?

The mainstay of treatment for sciatica is activity modification and pain medication. After diagnosing sciatica, the doctor will almost certainly prescribe or give medication for the pain. Prescription strength NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as meloxicam (Mobic) and diclofenac (Voltaren) are frequently prescribed. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and tizanidine (Zanaflex) are also frequently prescribed. If the pain is severe and not relieved by these measures, stronger medication such as a narcotic (Codeine, Vicodin, morphine) may be prescribed for relief. Narcotic medications are best used for short periods of time.

Is Surgery Necessary for Sciatica?

If, despite doing everything one is instructed to do, the pain continues and the CT or MRI shows a problem with the disc or bone, back surgery may be recommended. Back surgery is generally performed for patients who have tried all other methods of treatment first. There are exceptions to this, such as people with ongoing nerve damage or cauda equina syndrome.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/17/2016

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