Acupuncture Treatment For Sciatica




The sciatic nerve is a massive network of smaller nerves that begin in the lumbar spine, descending through the buttocks and going through the leg. It is the body's longest nerve.

Sciatica is a syndrome or collection of symptoms affecting the sciatic nerve region. Sciatica is not a recognised medical condition. Because there are various probable causes and therapies, we use the term sciatica to describe a group of symptoms.

Radiating pain is one of the more prevalent and severe symptoms of sciatica. There may also be numbness and tingling in the lower back that radiates down the leg. These can involve back pain, but they can also include hip, leg, or even foot pain. Sometimes there is no pain, and the patient predominantly experiences numbness or tingling, which is known as paresthesia. Leg weakness or coldness may occur. The presentation varies and is usually limited to one side. The discomfort can be described as aching, stabbing, or burning.

The thought of the nerve being pinched is one of the more common causes of sciatica. The sciatic nerve can become irritated when pressure is applied, resulting in nerve dysfunction. The pressure may be felt around the spine, where the nerves that supply the legs originate. It can happen at the hip joint or around the piriformis muscle. In most situations, inflammation causes tissues to enlarge, which increases pressure.


According to Chinese medicine, the body is interrelated; no one part can be isolated from another. The diagnosis and treatment are based on detecting individual muscle imbalances and the body as a whole. Correcting the imbalance addresses the underlying cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms or masking the disease. Qi and blood stagnation in the spinal channels is the most common imbalance in acute sciatica. However, it is also critical to address the underlying imbalance that may be causing the qi and blood to stagnate.

Acupuncture can aid with sciatica pain relief. Acupuncture is more effective than not having treatment and is at least as effective as, if not better than, mainstream medical care for back pain, according to extensive research.

According to the British Acupuncture Council, acupuncture can help reduce back pain and sciatica by doing the following:

  • Stimulating nerves in muscles and other tissues, causing the release of endorphins and other neurohumoral substances and altering pain processing in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987, Zhao 2008). 
  • Inflammation can be reduced by increasing the release of vascular and immunomodulatory substances (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003). 
  • Improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by enhancing local microcirculation, which aids in swelling dispersal (Komori 2009).
  • Causing a brief alteration in blood flow to the sciatic nerve, including circulation to the cauda equine and nerve root. The use of atropine eliminates or reduces this reaction, indicating that it is primarily mediated by cholinergic nerves (Inoue 2008). 
  • Influencing the neurotrophic factor signalling system, which is critical in the treatment of neuropathic pain (Dong 2006). 
  • Increasing serotonin and noradrenaline levels, which can help alleviate pain and accelerate nerve healing (Wang 2005). 
  • Improving the Sciatic Nerve's Conductive Parameters (Zhang 2005).
    promoting sciatic nerve regeneration (La 2005) 

 Endorphin production increases when needles are put into specific acupuncture sites. Acupuncture can also relax the muscles. Acupuncture will assist in reprogramming the muscles to remain relaxed. The back, hip, and pelvis are all interrelated; therefore, treatment should address all of them. The treatment should, in general, relax and stretch the tendons and fascia while strengthening the muscles. This will help to relax and strengthen the spastic muscles, allowing the back to heal spontaneously. Depending on the severity, it may even encourage an out-of-place disc to return to its proper position.

It is critical to preserve the patient's back's health after the pain has subsided. Stretching is vital for keeping muscles relaxed. Tai chi, a Chinese workout and meditation, is also particularly good for strengthening and relaxing the lower back.

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