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Sciatica ice packs: Do they work, and where do you put them?

2 minutes, 4 seconds

Sciatica is a condition that affects the lower back through the feet where the sciatic nerve runs through the body. When the nerve becomes inflamed or compressed due to another underlying condition, it can result in serious pain. It's a fairly common condition, affecting a large portion of the American population.

There is not a cure for this condition, but it can be treated in a few different ways. Some people may use anti-inflammatory medication or ice packs to help reduce inflammation if that is causing their sciatic nerve pain, while others may need to use other types of treatment like physical therapy if their pain is caused by compression or pressure on the nerve.

Do ice packs work for sciatic pain?

Ice packs can help those with sciatic pain. This type of treatment is easy to use at home and is beneficial for dealing with nerve inflammation. Using one for about 20 minutes at least one time a day can help reduce inflammation and temporarily numb pain.

Where do you put ice packs if using them for sciatica?

  • When you choose to use ice packs as a temporary pain relief solution, it's best to put them directly onto the area where you are experiencing pain.
  • If you find that applying it directly to the source of your pain doesn't work, you could try applying it at the bottom of your back and the top of your pelvis. This is where the nerve root is located. Icing the nerve root could help slow down nerve impulses and lessen your pain.

Why should you see a physical therapist if you have sciatica?

Physical therapy is probably the most recommended solution for patients with sciatica, and for good reason. Physical therapy is a long-term solution because it helps to strengthen the muscles that run alongside the nerve and support it. It also can help correct poor posture that might be causing herniated discs or placing pressure on the nerve. While ice packs can provide temporary relief, physical therapy is your best bet for preventive measures.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for your sciatica

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we're proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that's close to you and that can help you address your sciatic nerve pain.

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.

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