What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a medical condition characterized by pain going down the leg stemming from the lower back. This pain may go down the back of the leg, side of the leg, or front of the leg. Typically, symptoms are only present on one side of the body; however, there are cases when there is pain on both sides of the body. Lower back pain is generally but not always present. Weakness or numbness may occur in various parts of the affected leg and or foot.
Facts About Sciatica
In 90% of cases with sciatica, a spinal disc herniation is pressing on one or more of the lumbar or sacral nerve roots. Other problems that may result in sciatica include spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, pelvic tumors, and compression by a baby's head during pregnancy.
Common Symptoms of Sciatica
- Low Back Pain
- Sharp shooting pain radiating down the leg
- Burning or tingling sensations radiating down the leg
- Weakness or numbness in the affected leg
Acupuncture for Sciatica
Acupuncture speeds up healing naturally, by relaxing the fascia and tendons in the back, hips, and pelvis. Acupuncture will also have an effect on the spinal nerves. By correcting the imbalances in the body, acupuncture can reduce and prevent tension and muscle spasms, which in turn facilitates herniated discs to return to their proper position, and relaxes the nerve that is causing the pain. Treating this imbalance also prevents future recurrences of sciatica.
Acupuncture Vs Western Medicine
In Western Medicine, nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed medications for the treatment of sciatica. When these drugs fail to be effective, a patient is prescribed a round or corticosteroid injections (usually about 3). This treatment only masks the pain without treating the root of the problem. These painkillers over a long period of time have a damaging affect on your internal organs, especially your liver and kidney having harmful side effects. Acupuncture is well known for its ability to treat pain and inflammation. Traditional Chinese medicine often treats sciatica with a combination of therapies. We may use acupuncture, electro acupuncture, massage, cupping, and/or heat therapy to treat sciatica.