Sciatica: What are the right reflexes and the cases where you should consult

Sciatica is a pain of the lower limb located along the path of the sciatic nerve. Her treatment is medicated with possible rehabilitation. Preventing its occurrence requires hygienic-dietary rules and the adoption of good positions.

In case of sciatica, it is important to know the right steps and positions to take as well as the medications to take to be relieved. But also, know when to consult.


Here are some tips to help you overcome a sciatic nerve attack.

Some tips to relieve sciatica:

  • Avoid bad positions and movements that cause sciatica;
  • Extended bed rest is not recommended.
  • When lying down, raise your legs to minimize pain (e.g. with pillows);
  • If the pain is bearable, continue and adapt your activities, without forcing.

To relieve back pain, you can use self-medication and take painkillers as long as you follow a few rules.

Painkillers limit the pain of sciatica. You can take one of two types of medications:

  • paracetamol;
  • a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory or NSAID (ibuprofen, ketoprofen) or aspirin. These medications should be used alone, do not mix NSINs and aspirin.
  • Check by reading the instructions of the drug that you do not present a contraindication to the consumption of one of these painkillers.

For better effectiveness, take a medication as soon as possible, ideally at the onset of pain.

Ask your pharmacist for advice.

Starting analgal treatment without a medical prescription requires the following advice:

  • do not exceed the maximum daily dose allowed. Follow the dosage mentioned in the notice (dose and frequency of intakes);
  • Unless medical advice is to be advised otherwise, avoid associating or alternating drugs of different composition;
  • check that you are not taking several drugs containing the same molecule: many drugs contain paracetamol, or ibuprofen;

Do not use a medication if you have any of the contraindications mentioned in the notice.
If the painkiller is not effective quickly and sciatica persists, consult your gp. Don’t forget to tell her what treatment you’ve taken (medication, dose, frequency).


Consult your emergency doctor for sciatic nerve neuralgia:

  • you experience extreme sciatic apain that is not calmed by painkillers;
  • you notice paralysis or decreased muscle strength in your leg
  • You notice a loss of sensitivity in your perineum;
  • You have difficulty urinating or urinary leakage
  • you have a loss of control of the anal sphincter or, on the contrary, unusual constipation;
  • you have or have recently developed any of the following symptoms: fever, difficulty breathing, vomiting, urinary tract infection…

Check quickly in the following cases:

  • after two to three days of self-medication, your condition does not improve and lower back pain persists;
  • You experience progressive weakness or numbness along the sciatic nerve in a leg or foot
  • You notice a decrease in the sensitivity of part of the leg
  • sciatic pain intensifies, especially at night;
  • you have lost weight involuntarily, before the sciatica appeared.

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