Monday, February 23, 2009 giantdave6, Community Member, asks

Q: What's the best pain killer for sciatic nerve pain?

What's the best pain killer for sciatica?  I've been on percocet then had to increase to encocet, but still have pain even with that.  I'm taking naproxen for the inflammation, which basically does nothing to kill the pain.  Can anyone suggest a drug that really works for this condition.  I'm only 45 yrs. old, but feel like I'm about 90 suddenly.  Every step I take makes my wince in pain.  It's really getting me down and I'm starting to not be able to sleep.  When I wake up I don't even want to get out of bed, because as soon as I put weight on my right leg I want to scream out in pain.

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Answers (11)
2/24/09 6:21pm

Because "Sciatica" is a type of nerve pain, some of the best medications are not opioid medications like Percocet. Nerve pain medications include Gabapentin (Neurontin) which is in the family of anti-convulsants (seizure medications). Some of the anti-depressants can also reduce nerve pain like desipramine and amytriptyline (Elavil).


Try to avoid having you legs staight out in front of you with hips bent at 90 degree angle because that position stretches the nerve. Keeping the knees bent and apart with hips bent helps to ease nerve tension in the leg. You might also want to look into a zero gravity chair.


Don't forget to read my articles about Sciatica on our back pain page.


Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

cazz, Community Member
8/13/09 1:50pm

I have had the same problem I suffer with acute sciatic pain down my legs feet and back. I had a micro-discectomy in 1996,and another disc herniated but went back itself but is permanently swollen. The best 2 painkillers I have been given are Solpodol caps 2 and Tramadol 2 together,and every 4 hours continue taking 2 of each maximum 8 a day.

I have tried various painkillers and that seems to work the best,good luck hope it works for you to.

Kind Regards,


DARIA, Community Member
4/29/10 3:22pm


Carol, Community Member
11/12/10 11:24pm

In addition to meds, ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist who does myofascial release.  I have gotten a lot of help from this process.  It's difficult to understand.  Somehow, trained and sensitive fingers are able to relieve pressure on nerves and soft tissue by manipulating it.  One of them compared it to "you can't force a sock drawer that is stuffed full ... you have to ease the socks into place so the drawer can shut".  The great thing is there is virtually nothing required from the patient except some minimal and not painful stretching, and learning some posture tips.  I also got a lazy susan kind of cushion for my car, and you would be surprised how much that little bit of assistance has helped stabilize my spine and hips.  There is also a device called Sacrowedgy that I have used.  (Just search the web and you will find it.) It elevates the pelvic area and forces the hip muscles to relax, taking pressure off the nerve.   I also had the same physical therapist do some dry needling to release knotted muscles that massage and release could not unlock.  This is not licensed in all states.  Hope you get some relief ... sciatica has to be addressed in part as a mechanical thing, not just having pain meds to lower your perception. 

Harry Loeb, Community Member
2/ 9/11 4:58am

my pain was so strong and nothing helped.i stoped driving for 4 weeks and no pain at all it just went away.i walked every day for 2 hours and for 4 weeks i never had any pain at all.when i started to drive again after 4 weeks the pain the pain comes from pressing the exelarator, when driving sit as close to the steering as posible and dont stetch your leg,i am 77 yo, good luck,Harry.

docscooter2010, Community Member
8/25/12 2:14am

I have the same problem. I have been to the doctors about 5 times in the last 3 month . the best pain relief I have taken is Boots own make Paracetomol & Codeine Extra . Drop 2 in a half glass of water . Lasts about 4 hours . £4.95 for 32 tablets . Hope they work for you.

Diane, Community Member
1/18/13 10:18am

Help --what is the answer to the above question??

Alan Phillips, Community Member
10/15/13 9:49am

I have had 3 Spine surgeries at the Bonati Spine Institute in Hudson Florida.

I am in the same predicament still except, I have alot less money. They were nice people and I'm sure they tried their best but, it didn't work and now I don't have any money. You deduce your own conclusions from this. They say I just need more operations. Pay us more money and we will operate more.

  I have had this severe sciatic nerve pain for 10 years. I wake up to nerve pain every morning and go to bed with it every night. I make almost any movement and something in my spine "feels" like it pops and then the really bad pain comes. I crawl into bed as fast as I can because if I move the leg and/or put weight on it, the pain increases even more. I have tried a lot of different drugs. None can touch this. So, now I'm penniless and in severe pain and henceforth, cannot work.

  At the moment, I would not recommend surgery at the Bonati Spine Institute unless you are rich ($100,000. of disposable cash) or you have medical health insurance to pay for it.

  As a sidebar to all this, I'm Canadian and I cannot get a surgeon in Canada to fix it, either. Our healthcare is almost as bad as the American healthcare system.

debbie, Community Member
11/ 9/13 12:56pm
I've been to a back surgeon and as he looked at my mri he saw misalignment on left but could not answer why on my right leg and butt area has so much pain. It feels like a dull painful pain in butt and front groin area it is constant and worst when walking and standing. To lift my leg to get in car and bed is excruciating. The mri said I had a protruding disk but dr couldn't see it. What do I do I can't deal with this pain anymore? Reply
Jordan, Community Member
1/28/14 2:08am

Get a steriod shot in your back, they are extreamly painfull and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting put to sleep before you get one, they take about 72 hours to take effect and before you know it the pain is GONE! If you dont get put to sleep before getting the injection in your back you might pass out from the amount of pain you will feel from your injection it will make any other pain you went through even labor pain if you got kids feel like nothing, death will probably be the first thought of relief during the proceedure if you dont get knocked out before you get it.

user212606, Community Member
7/ 1/14 2:09pm

try a nerve killer shot in lower back, gives relief. talk to your doctor.  good luck

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By giantdave6, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/02/14, First Published: 02/23/09