Both hot and cold packs are known to help with sciatica. Cold packs reduce the swelling that is caused by the medical condition that attributes to sciatica. It will also reduce the swelling around the nerves. Ice can numb the pain in the back and legs. A chiropractor advises applying the cold pack and removing it for 20 minutes. This should be repeated many times a day.
Heat application with moisture is good at treating sciatic nerve pain. The heat will relax stiff muscles in the legs and back. The stiff muscles may compress the sciatic nerve or may prevent the nerve pain from improving.