Can Acupuncture Relieve Sciatica Pain
Sciatica is a common condition that can be challenging to manage. This condition can cause discomfort, pain, and other unpleasant symptoms that can interfere with your daily life. Even though there are many ways to treat sciatica, some people try alternative therapies like acupuncture to ease their pain.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used to treat pain and other illnesses for hundreds of years. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential benefits of acupuncture for sciatica pain relief. This article will explore if acupuncture can help relieve sciatica pain.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a medical condition that refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, through the hips, and buttocks, and down each leg. The pain caused by sciatica can range from mild to severe and is often described as a shooting pain, a burning sensation, or numbness and tingling.
A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease are the usual causes of sciatica. Other causes may include injury, pregnancy, or being overweight. Symptoms of sciatica can include pain in the lower back, buttocks, and legs, as well as weakness or numbness in the affected areas.
Treatment for sciatica may include physical therapy, medication, or, in severe cases, surgery. It’s important to see a healthcare professional if you are experiencing persistent or severe pain or if you have any concerns about your symptoms.
What Causes Sciatica?
- Spinal stenosis. A narrowing of the spinal canal, which puts pressure on the nerves and can lead to sciatica.
- Degenerative disc disease. A condition that occurs when the discs between the vertebrae of the spine wear down, causing them to lose their cushioning ability and increasing the likelihood of nerve compression.
- Spondylolisthesis. A condition that occurs when one vertebra slips forward onto the one below it, causing nerve compression.
- Piriformis syndrome. A condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle, located deep in the buttock, irritates or compresses the sciatic nerve.
- Trauma. A fall, car accident or other trauma can cause compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the weight of the growing baby can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Being overweight. Being overweight can put extra pressure on the spine and increase the likelihood of nerve compression.
If you have sciatica symptoms, it’s important to talk to a doctor so you can find out what’s causing them and get the right treatment.
Can Acupuncture Relieve Sciatica Pain?
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into certain points on the body to help the body heal and relieve pain. While the effectiveness of acupuncture for sciatica is still under investigation, some studies have suggested that it may be effective in relieving sciatica pain.
It may work by stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers. Acupuncture may also help increase blood flow and reduce inflammation, which can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Several small studies have found that acupuncture may be effective in relieving sciatica pain. For example, a systematic review and meta-analysis done in 2022 found that acupuncture is much more effective and safe than painkillers at treating sciatica. Moreover , a 2015 systemic review and meta analysis found that acupuncture may reduce leg pain/lumbago and improve sciatica evaluation better than NSAIDs (ibuprofen, meloxicam, and diclofenac). Adjuvant acupuncture may boost leg pain/lumbago medicines.
Overall, acupuncture may be a safe and effective option for some people with sciatica. But it’s important to talk to a licensed acupuncturist and a health care professional to find out if acupuncture is a safe and effective way to treat your sciatica.
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At Evergreen Rehab & Wellness – Coquitlam, we have licensed acupuncturists and TCM practitioners that provide best-in-class acupuncture therapy.
Moreover, we also have an acupuncturist in Langley that can help you.
You may contact us through the following:
- Evergreen Rehab & Wellness – Coquitlam
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