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Acupuncture for Sciatica

TCM provides a fast and evidence based solution to the agony of sciatica

Acupuncture for Sciatica

Far too many of us are familiar with the agony of an attack of sciatica. That awful shooting pain that leaves us immobile for days and in severe discomfort for up to 6 weeks… In this article we will explain what happens when you experience a flare up of sciatic pain and provide some simple tips that can help you to take back control. We will also explore how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches this debilitating condition - and how it can help to get you back on your feet once more.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica describes a common condition where the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet, becomes irritated or compressed. Conventional western medical solutions to this condition include painkillers and physiotherapy or when the problem is particularly severe decompression surgery may be recommended. However, Chinese medicine see sciatic as a channel disorder, it is characterized by the combination of 3 main symptoms: pain, swelling and numbness. The result of this is severe pain that starts at the buttock and radiates down either one of both legs and may be felt all the way down to the feet and your toes. To add to the woes the pain may also be accompanied by numbness, tingling and burning sensations which are exacerbated by movement. There are a variety of causes such as sitting too much, having tight hamstrings and glutes, or having a strained sciatic nerve. 

What is the Traditional Chinese Medical approach to Sciatica?

TCM has a long history of helping to treat people with sciatica – fast. Acupuncture for sciatica pain provides an excellent and evidence based solution to treating sciatic symptoms.

Acupuncture works by stimulating specific acupuncture points that run along the site of the sciatic pain. The set of acupuncture points – known as a meridian – that runs all the way from the middle of the buttock, all along the back of the thigh and legs right down to the feet and toes. In fact this acupuncture meridian (its the Bladder Meridian) runs along precisely the same channel as the sciatic nerve – no wonder acupuncture is so effective!

A study of 780 patients in the acupuncture group and 771 in the medication group revealed that acupuncture was significantly more effective, experienced a significantly greater reduction in pain intensity than conventional medication.

To relieve pain, acupuncture relaxes stiff muscles, improves blood circulation, regulates the neurological system, and releases neurotransmitters. Acupuncture has been demonstrated to be a successful therapy for sciatica without the negative side effects associated with pharmaceutical pain relievers such as NSAIDs and muscle relaxants. 

acupuncture for sciatica

Acupuncture for sciatica numbness

Acupuncture for sciatica numbness is a very gentle treatment – with a hefty result! There are many acupuncture points located along the legs, feet and toes. Acupuncture stimulates these points using super fine needles helps unblocked channels , ensure the energy starts to flow again. The numbness and tingling will shift in a short space of time – allowing you to get on with the things that you want to do with your life.

Keep on moving…

Some gentle exercise tips that you can carry out to prevent sciatica problems from flaring up

When your sciatica plays up you may be tempted to lie in bed and to stop engaging in physical activities. It’s important that you resist this temptation as soon as you are able to. Gentle exercise is such a great way to restore movement and flexibility to your body which in turn will help prevent this problem from returning in the future. Exercise helps in the following ways:

  • It increases your muscle strength Exercise increases the proper engagement of your muscles and improves muscle strength. Your spine is supported by muscle fibres all the way along its length. When these muscles are strong they improve its stability, reducing pain from muscular fatigue in the process.
  • Pump up the blood flow! When we exercise the flow of blood to the muscles, nerves, and other soft tissues in the spine increases – Just think about how pink in the face we go after a run as your blood gets pumping! This process results in a better supply of nutrients to these tissues, promoting healing and relieving stiffness. From an acupuncture perspective a better flow of Blood results in an improved flow of Qi – or energy – around the body, which in turn means that your tissues receive a greater amount of nutrients, enabling them to function at their best.
  • Be like Bamboo Close your eyes and think of the bamboo plant for a moment. Strong, upright – yet flexible. Try to incorporate flexibility and movement into your everyday routine. Even gentle side to side movements will help. Exercises such as these will help to maintain the flow of nutrients between the nerves and surrounding tissues, increasing its flexibility.

For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with sciatica, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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