My previous articles have dealt with acupuncture as a modality for various modern day ailments which plague our lives. Here we will discuss one of the more annoying and painful condition called sciatica, caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. And while surgery may be indicated, acupuncture is a very less invasive alternative treatment.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body which runs from your spinal cord, past your buttocks, and down each of your legs up to the little toe. Pain which runs the full length pathway of this nerve is referred to as “sciatica.” Sciatica itself is not an ailment; rather, symptomatic of a problem with your sciatic nerve. such as a herniated disk. Causes of sciatica include unhealthy habits such as poor sitting and sleeping postures, excessive sitting, and insufficient exercise and stretching of the muscles of the hip which causes irritation of the sciatic nerve. A herniated disc, also called a slipped disc, is a common cause of sciatic nerve pain that is felt in the lower back and radiates down one leg. Mild sciatica usually goes away on its own, but more severe sciatic nerve pain requires treatment. Such treatments can include prescription medications, physical therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture. Acupuncture, to me, is the best method (this coming from an Acupuncturist), because the sciatic nerve is a trigger point which can only be reset using a acupuncture needle and sometimes along with an “estim machine” (a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips).
Acupuncture treatment customarily begins with an interview in which the acupuncturist checks your pulse at different positions on the wrist; observes your appearance for clues to your health; asks about your past medical history and present state of health; and palpates specific acupuncture points. The acupuncturist inserts thin needles into your skin at specific points on your body. The procedure is not painful and a small amount of needles may be placed in various points on the body. These points may be local and/or distal points. After the needles are placed, they may be moved or stimulated during the treatment and infrared heat most likely will be used in conjunction with the treatment. The treatment typically lasts about 20-30 minutes. Effective treatment may be continued once or twice a week for 4-8 weeks, depending on the severity of the condition.
In my experience, in time every case of sciatica can be cured. The amount of treatments needed for a complete cure varies according to the severity, cause, and duration of the sciatica. Typically an acute attack of sciatic pain lasting for a few weeks can be cured in as little as 3 treatments. Sciatica that has been ignored for many months can take longer to cure.
If you or someone you know suffers from sciatica, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation. I have had very good past results treating patients for sciatica and urge you to investigate acupuncture as an alternative to living with the debilitating pain and discomfort of sciatica.