Acupuncture: Effective Sciatica Treatment


Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve which results in pain, numbness and tingling. Sciatica pain is typically felt in the lower back radiating down the back of the thigh to below the knee. The pain may be felt as a cramp, as shooting pain down the leg or tingling in the leg or foot. Some patients report that the pain intensifies with coughing or sneezing, and bending the knees or squatting may also make it worse. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, starting as five pairs of nerve roots in the lower or lumbar spine and extending through the buttocks and down to the lower leg. It lies near the sacrum, the back of the pelvis, the back of the thighs, behind the knee and smaller branch nerves travel all the way to the feet.

Sciatica occurs when something pushes on the sciatic nerve. This can be a muscle spasm, the spinal discs, and sometimes even the spine itself. Most often this pain is due to muscle spasms or a slipped disc, but it can also be a sign of serious illness and it is important to go to you doctor for a diagnosis. Technically, sciatica is not a disease, but a group of symptoms that affect the region of the sciatic nerve. Radiating pain is one of the more common and intense symptoms, there can also be numbness and tingling starting in the lower back radiating down the leg. Furthermore, sciatic nerve compression can be caused by several different types of spinal disorders such as: 1) a herniated disc 2) lumbar spinal stenosis 3) spondylolisthesis 4) trauma 5) piriformis syndrome 6) spinal tumors.

Acupuncture is effective for the alleviation of sciatica. Guangzhou Zengcheng Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial and determined that warm needle acupuncture achieves a 96.15% total effective rate. 

Treating sciatica with acupuncture is helpful because it can really relieve the pain and inflammation within the sciatic nerve. Meiji University of Oriental Medicine did research on the effectiveness of acupuncture on sciatica treatment; they found that acupuncture not only influence humans’ pain inhibitory system, it participates in causing a transient change in sciatic nerve blood blow, including circulation to the cauda equine and nerve root. To further your understanding of how acupuncture relieves sciatic nerve pain: there are important acupuncture points within our back that can effectively trigger the sciatic nerve, thereby decreasing inflammation, numbness and pain.

Most of the patients experience substantial sciatica relief after their first treatment, for 2 - 3 times treatment per week for at least 4 weeks to see the progress.

Important note: It usually take 3 to 5 years from Low back pain slowly turn into Sciatica pain, so address your low back pain in the early stage is always better than later.

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Acupuncture and Natural Therapies for Sciatica

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