Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How long until my sciatica goes away?"
It has been weeks and the pain and numbness hasn't gone away. How long does this normally lasts?
I'm sorry to hear that you are still having pain. I recommend that you visit your primary care doctor again. As you probably know, sciatica is typically caused by pinching of a nerve in the lower back, leading to pain or numbness and tingling in the area served by the nerve lower down in the leg. The good news is that most cases of sciatica do get better over time with the help of back strengthening exercises, physical activity as tolerated, and anti inflammatory medications like naproxen or ibuprofen. The bad news is that, even in mild cases, the symptoms can last for several weeks or even longer. However, just because you still have some symptoms doesn't mean you may not recover; sometimes it does just take a while longer. I'd suggest visiting with your primary care doctor once more. They'll be able to assess if you are making progress and recovering as expected. Sometimes it is necessary to escalate therapy, say through the addition of physical therapy sessions. In the most severe cases - usually characterized by impaired sensation or muscle weakness in the legs - it may be necessary to visit with an orthopedic surgeon or physiatrist for consideration of more invasive treatments, such as surgery or injected medications.
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