How to Treat a Sciatic Nerve After Back Surgery

The sciatic nerve is the long nerve that runs from the lower back, down the back of the leg and into the foot. This nerve can be affected by disk herniations, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, piriformis syndrome, spinal tumor, trauma or sciatic nerve tumor, according to the Mayo Clinic. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) 80 to 90 percent of sciatic nerve problems are treated without surgery. However, the remaining few may need surgery to treat their symptoms, depending on the cause. There are some general guidelines to ensure a maximum recovery after back surgery for your sciatic nerve symptoms.

Rest after your surgery and do not rush into physical activity. Avoid driving, excessive sitting, lifting or bending forward for one month after surgery, recommends the AAOS.

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Keep the surgical site clean, and make sure your wound heals correctly.

Perform exercises given to you by your surgeon or your physical therapist to strengthen the muscles in your back an in your abdomen. Perform gentle stretches recommended by your physical therapist.

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Take prescribed medications as directed by your doctor to relieve your pain and reduce post-surgical inflammation.

Commit to exercising, managing your weight and keeping your back muscles strong to avoid re-injuring your back. Alert your doctor if your sciatic nerve symptoms do not improve or get worse.


Do not rush into physical activity. Your back needs time to heal.