Acupuncture works naturally to relieve sciatica. The body releases natural painkillers, decreases inflammation, and increases blood flow. The body can heal itself by targeting the root causes.
I will discuss how acupuncture works for sciatica. I will also share clinical research to prove it works. And finally, I will show you how personalized acupuncture treatments can help with your back pain and sciatica.
Acupuncture for Sciatica
Through my many years of experience, I have helped many patients suffering from sciatica to reduce their pain as well as avoid procedures and medications. The body can heal itself when acupuncture is used in order to reduce pain and inflammation. For patients suffering from sciatica, I believe the right combination of electroacupuncture, acupuncture and cupping will bring about significant improvement and relief.
During your first visit, I will review your medical history as well as perform a physical exam. How I approach treatment will depend on when sciatica began, how severe the symptoms and pain are now, as well as any injuries or triggers that could cause the discomfort.
My personalized treatment plan could include electroacupuncture, acupuncture, and cupping.
Electroacupuncture is very similar in nature to regular acupuncture but also includes the stimulation of the needles with electricity. It promotes qi circulation, blood stasis, wind-dampness, and removes blood stasis. Electroacupuncture also enhances the pain relieving and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Electroacupuncture can be a relaxing and pleasant treatment.
It is crucial to be in a comfortable position when you are receiving acupuncture for sciatica. Patients are often more comfortable lying on their backs during acupuncture sessions. This has a tremendous effect on relaxing the back muscles.
The length of the acupuncture treatments is another consideration. A shorter treatment time of 18-22 minutes is better for acute injuries. The treatment can be extended to 22-25 mins as the body heals.
For the strongest pain relief and fastest healing, it is a good idea to receive acupuncture two to three times per week during the acute phase of a back injury. The pain can often be significantly reduced in a matter of weeks. The treatment course usually consists of between 8-12 visits. Some patients may experience faster relief and can stop treatment immediately, while others may need more visits.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica is caused by something pushing on the sciatic nerve. It could be either a muscle spasm, or the spinal discs. This pain can be caused by muscle spasms, a slipped disc
or other serious conditions. If symptoms persist, it is important that you see your doctor immediately.
Spinal Disc Herniation (also known as a slipped disk) is when a small part of the spine disc bulges from the spinal column. The disc pushes against the sciatic nerve, causing pain. For lumbar disc herniations, acupuncture can also be helpful.
Spinal stenosis (or a narrowing in the spinal canal) can cause severe pain and push the nerves. Spinal tumors are another serious cause of sciatica and require immediate medical attention.
Sciatica can also be caused by muscle spasms. It is most often the piriformis muscles, but it could also be the lower back or pelvic region muscles.
Chronic sciatica can be caused by piriformis syndrome. The sciatic nerve can run under or through the Piriformis muscle. This muscle is located in your pelvis. It connects to the base of the spine, the top of your femur or thighbones. The piriformis muscles can spasm, or become tight, which can cause sciatic nerve pressure and radiating symptoms.
Piriformis syndrome causes a persistent spasm in the piriformis muscles. This can be caused by injury, sedentary lifestyles or people who don’t exercise or stretch enough. This can be especially true if you spend your day sitting at a computer or desk all day.
How can Acupuncture help Sciatica?
Acupuncture can be used to relieve the stiffness, pain, and inflammation that come with sciatica. It’s a non-invasive, safe therapy that stimulates healing.
- Relaxes your muscles and reduces tension
- Increasing blood flow to the region
- The body will release natural painkillers like endorphins, opioids endogenous, and other natural pain relieving chemicals.
- It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous systems, which can be helpful in reducing inflammation.
- It reduces inflammation and stiffness
Acupuncture treatment can often provide pain relief that is immediate.
In acupuncture theory, the body is connected through channels or meridians. These channels contain Qi, the body’s essential energy. Injuries can cause the flow of qi, blood and energy to slow down or get stuck. These impediments are removed by acupuncture, which brings balance and circulation back into the muscles and allows the body’s natural healing process. Improved circulation of Qi is a key to better health and well-being.
Chinese medicine believes that the kidneys are closely linked to the lumbar region. This area is known as the home of the kidneys. Sciatica herniation may cause muscles to become tightened and reactive. This can lead to back pain. Wind, dampness, and cold can cause the lumbar area to become narrower, resulting in an irregular flow of blood and Qi. This condition can also be caused by Qi vacuity (lack of Qi) in the body.
Is acupuncture effective for sciatica?
Yes, many studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in treating sciatica. A recent meta-analysis, which is a study that combines the results of many randomized controlled trials, totalling 2,662 patients, showed that acupuncture was more effective for sciatica than medical treament. The study also noted that acupuncture easy very safe treatment with few side effects.
Cupping for Sciatica
Cupping uses suction to lift connective tissue and muscles. Although it isn’t painful, you will get round bruises that last for a few days up to a week. To create suction, rubber cups may be used with plastic cups, or glass cups heated with a flame.
Cupping is a great way to relieve tension and back pain. Cupping can also help release fascial adhesions, and increase blood flow to a specific area. This allows the body to heal by allowing muscles to relax and reducing inflammation.
Cupping creates a negative pressure that draws stagnant fluids up and flushes them out. It also draws stagnant blood and other cellular waste up to the surface. This allows for new, healthy blood to circulate. The process stimulates the body’s healing process.
Acupuncture treatment is customized to each patient. By including cupping and electroacupuncture I am able to address the underlying imbalance and support the body’s natural healing processes for long-term improvement. This treatment will also help to promote circulation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.
Feedback From our clients…
I had been suffering from sciatica pain for months before coming in for acupuncture with Dr. Joe. I began to notice a significant improvement in my pain levels after just a few sessions. He is a master of his craft! I am now pain-free and able to sit again! I cannot recommend him highly enough. He is also a very kind and nice guy. Dr. Alban truly has a gift for healing, and I am grateful for his treatments.
~ Brooklyn, New York