Acupuncture for Sciatica
Acupuncture for Sciatica
People around the world turn to acupuncture for sciatica pain and it is one of the most common patient complaints.
Did you know that as many as 40% of all people will develop sciatica in their lifetime?
Sciatica is one of the most common, misunderstood causes of recurrent pain. Those who suffer from chronic pain located in the back are more likely to develop sciatica, but it can strike anyone.
Patients often report that sciatica affects the quality of life, reduces economic efficacy, and even interferes with social outings. The most common treatments for sciatica pain include epidural steroid injections, pain killers, cold/hot therapy, and surgery.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and, specifically, acupuncture offer a safe, gentle, and noninvasive alternative or supportive therapy to these treatments.
Acupuncture has proven time and time again to help people struggling with sciatica. The condition is characterized by nervy, nagging paints that radiate through the back or side of the leg and buttock. It can affect both legs, and the pain can also extend to the calf.
The causes of sciatica vary, but it almost always involves a tight piriformis muscle. This muscle presses on the sciatic nerve, causing discomfort along its length, resulting in the characteristic sciatic pain.
How Does TCM Work for Sciatica?
From the perspective of TCM, sciatica is ultimately caused by blocked qi and blood flow in the body. These blockages get in the way of proper circulation, leading to pain, degeneration, and inflammation.
Acupuncture offers safe and gentle treatment that can balance the flow of blood and qi, naturally restoring your body’s muscle and nerve tissues. This practice is also relaxing, which can improve an overall sense of wellbeing while quelling muscle spasms.
The scientific community does not dispute the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating sciatica. While studies are limited, there is also extensive research regarding acupuncture for the relief of chronic pain.
From a Western medicine standpoint, acupuncture also:
- Impacts your nervous system and how your brain perceives pain signals.
- Releases endorphins, which are natural opioid painkillers.
- Relaxes your muscles.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Improves circulation.
- Reduces emotional stress.
By reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and releasing pain-killing endorphins, acupuncture comprehensively treats sciatica pain. The best part? No side effects.
What to Expect from Your Treatment
Depending on the severity of your sciatica—along with your lifestyle and existing conditions—your professional with recommend a combination of modalities, including:
- Herbal Medicine
- Lifestyle Changes
- Exercises to Perform at Home
Your acupuncture professional will also provide recommendations on treatment frequency to ensure the effective treatment of your sciatica.
For a new patient resources guide on what you can expect from a visit to our clinic, click here.