Sciatica is a type of back problem that can cause excruciating pain. If you’ve ever felt a pinching painful sensation at your lower back that seems to radiate to your thighs and legs, then chances are that you are suffering from sciatica. The symptoms of this condition include intense, sharp, stabbing pain when you move, inability to walk, difficulty getting out of bed, numbness of the feet, and of course, back pain.
There may be several ways to treat sciatic pain but unfortunately, many of them are not really effective or powerful enough to resolve the pain. Physical therapy, stretching, exercise, painkillers, and surgery are some of the conventional modes of treatment you can try to relieve sciatica.
If you have tried a few, most, or even all of these treatments and still suffer from back pain, then maybe it’s time to consider alternative types of treatment that may work for you. One of these treatments is acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a holistic type of treatment that addresses both the symptoms of a condition and the underlying cause of the problem. It is a modality that utilizes sterile, thin, solid needles inserted in the body. The idea behind this treatment is that a certain vital energy flowing in the body regulates the various functions and systems of the body. The objective of acupuncture treatment is to rectify the imbalances in the flow of vital energy (known as qi) by the stimulation of certain energy channels (called merdians) found just below the skin.
Adherents and practitioners of acupuncture believe that the treatment prevents and treats illness, promulgates health, and alleviates pain. According to traditional Chinese medicine or TCM, sciatica is the result of blood and qi stagnation on the energy channels located in the back, and the accumulation of cold or damp qi energy in the body.
In the treatment of sciatica, acupuncturists will insert needles into points located in the back of the patient to address to root cause of the sciatic nerve pain. The goal of the treatment is to boost the flow of blood into the affected areas and to regulate or normalize the function of the nervous system resulting in the removal of pain. Acupuncture is oftentimes combined with Chinese herbs and Chinese massage or Tui Na, to boost the effectiveness of the treatment.
However, outcomes may vary from patient to patient. There have been patients that have gotten better outright with acupuncture while there are others who received no benefit at all. It is best to give the treatment a few tries to see if it can provide you with good results.
Most sciatica patients have experienced significant pain relief when their acupuncture treatment was combined with Chinese massage. Tui Na and acupuncture used together can help relax the muscles that can trigger the sciatic pain and boost blood flow in the affected areas of the body.
Stretching and other mild forms of exercise can relax and improve the health of the muscles that can be helpful in the management of sciatic pain.
Sciatica treatment using acupuncture is a powerful way to resolve many types of back pain including sciatica. Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years and it still continues to help alleviate different kinds of illnesses and symptoms of people.
Tammi A. Jones is a licensed acupuncturist in Palm Harbor, FL., practicing acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Western medical pathology. She is also the founder of Synoma Wellness Centre.