CAN ACUPUNCTURE HELP WITH SCIATICA?
Do you suffer from sciatica?
Do you experience searing, burning, tingling pain in your low back, legs or feet?
Are you suffering from weakness, numbness, difficulty moving your leg and foot?
Read on to learn more about sciatica – what causes it, and how acupuncture can help.
WHAT CAUSES SCIATICA?
Sciatica is pain, tingling, or numbness along the sciatic nerves.
The sciatic nerves are both the longest and the widest nerves in the body. You have two sciatic nerves, one on each side of your body. They are formed from the nerve roots that extend out from the spine and into the lower back.
The main sciatic nerves run from the lower back, behind the hip joint, through the buttocks and down the legs, ending just below the knee, although several branches also extend down the back of each leg to the ankle and foot.
If the sciatic nerve is pinched, irritated, inflamed or damaged, there may be pain that can radiate throughout the course of the sciatic nerve, from the lower back down to the foot. Usually only one side of the body is affected.
COMMON CAUSES OF SCIATICA
There are many reasons why you might be experiencing sciatica. Anything that causes compression or pinching of the nerve can cause sciatica. This can be from an acute problem like an injury to the low back, or a chronic problem like degeneration of the lumbar spine.
The most common causes of sciatic nerve compression are:
- Bony protrusions from osteoarthritis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Inflammation and swelling due to traumatic injury
Sometimes the piriformis muscle – a flat muscle of your buttocks that attaches at the sacrum and also at the hip joint – can become tight and press against the nerve during activities like running or sitting, causing sciatica. This is called piriformis syndrome.
More rarely, sciatica can also be caused by pregnancy or even tumors, which can put additional pressure on the lumbar spine and cause compression of the sciatic nerve.
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT FOR SCIATICA
Treatment for sciatica typically involves trying to manage the symptoms. This can include:
- Bed rest
- Physical Therapy
- Ice packs or heating pads
- Topical pain relievers
- Anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen
These can help to temporarily reduce your symptoms, but often they do not solve the problem.
More severe cases may require medications like gabapentin, antidepressants, or corticosteroid injections, which can make you feel uncomfortable and may have harmful side effects.
In some cases, surgery may be considered to remove a disc bulge or even part of the spine.
You may be wondering if there are other, less invasive options to help you with sciatica pain.
Fortunately, relief CAN be achieved – without pharmaceutical drugs or surgery.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE HELP WITH SCIATICA PAIN?
Acupuncture involves stimulating nerve-rich areas of the skin to release natural pain killing substances like endorphins and enkephalins.
Acupuncture also promotes blood flow and reduces inflammation, which can enable peripheral nerves to heal and repair. Acupuncture also relaxes muscles, relieving compression.
All of this can provide effective, lasting relief from sciatica pain!
For many of our patients, sciatica pain can be eliminated and daily life improved after a series of acupuncture treatments.
If you suffer from sciatica and you’re ready to live a better, pain free life, Inner Alchemy Acupuncture is here for you. Call us today and schedule your initial consultation: (561) 629-1888.