The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs the entire length of the leg, from the hip to the sole of the foot. If the nerve is injured, or if muscles such as the piriformis irritate the nerve, you might experience pain in your hip or pelvis. The pain also can radiate down the back of your leg and into your heel. How you relieve the pain depends on the severity of the condition.
Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. MayoClinic.com advises that these drugs can reduce tissue swelling and relieve pressure on the nerve.
Apply heat in 20-minute increments every two hours for the first 24 hours. Heat relaxes the muscles and helps relieve the pain.
Apply a topical analgesic such as a menthol-based hot/cold ointment after the first 24 hours. The ointment relieves the pain and provides additional heat. Do not use hot/cold ointment with the heating pad.
Do light exercise, such as walking, but avoid the activity that caused the initial injury. MayoClinic.com advises that exercise releases endorphins, which can help relieve sciatic pain.
Stretch the piriformis, hamstrings and lower back, such as with forward bends and lower back twists. Hold the stretches for up to 30 seconds and breathe normally. Avoid bouncing or jerking during the stretch.
Consult your physician about prescription medication or physical therapy if the pain continues for more than six weeks.