The sciatic nerve branches from the back into the lower extremities, including the buttocks, hips, and both legs. When this essential nerve becomes impinged, compressed, or otherwise irritated, the resulting pain can be profound. Inflammation, pain, numbness, and more can lead to a reduced quality of life and interfere with normal daily activities.
Most instances of sciatic nerve pain (also known as sciatica) resolve themselves in time and with non-operative treatments. More severe cases may require surgery, but the occurrences of this are rare. As such, most doctors recommend non-invasive methods of treating the condition. Among them is acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
As a traditional type of Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been around for centuries. Its use in modern, Western medicine is often misunderstood because of its more spiritual origins. It was initially believed that, by inserting needles into specific points on the body, a person’s life force (chi) could be manipulated. Today, the practice remains largely the same, but the intent and understanding of it have changed in Western culture.
Acupuncture is still performed by inserting extremely thin needles into strategic places on the body. These acupuncture points are believed to stimulate certain nerves and the related connective tissue and muscles. The goal is to use these points to reduce the pain associated with various conditions, including nerve-related problems.
Can Acupuncture Help Sciatica Pain?
Research into acupuncture and its effectiveness in treating sciatic nerve pain is ongoing. However, there is research that suggests acupuncture is useful in alleviating pain for a variety of conditions. The style of acupuncture performed at Geneva has been shown to provide clients with relief from sciatic pain more than 90% of the time.
There is research that demonstrates the body’s ability to use its natural resources to reduce pain. Called endorphins, these natural substances seem to trigger release in response to acupuncture. In other words, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural pain management system.
Acupuncture also increased blood flow at the affected site. The improved blood flow brings healing to the treatment area, encourages muscle relaxation, and can contribute to decreased inflammation (which is directly related to pain).
The nervous system is largely responsible for the body’s response to pain. Because sciatica is directly related to the nervous system, and acupuncture is used to affect that same system, there is evidence that acupuncture can help the brain block pain signals, thereby alleviating sciatic nerve pain.
When to Use Acupuncture to Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain
If you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain, it is important to discuss your condition with your doctor, receive a diagnosis, and have an open conversation about what treatment methods might work best for you.
Acupuncture is a viable treatment for sciatica. At Geneva Acupuncture we have helped many patients get out of pain from sciatica. Dr. Eric as a board certified Chiropractic physician and Acupuncturist, can also help diagnose your pain. He will do a history as well as functional movement assessment to figure out the cause of pain. Dr Eric will then let you know if acupuncture, chiropractic, Active Release techniques or a combo may be beneficial or not to alleviating your pain.
Call 331-248-0657 or click here to schedule your appointment today!