Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine For Sciatica Pain
Updated: Mar 7
We have all experienced lower back pain at some point in our life. It may have been due to a muscle or ligament strain. Or perhaps, an accident that has caused injury to the soft tissues of the back. If you happen to experience a pain that radiates from your lower back and down your lower spine towards your buttocks you may be experiencing a condition called sciatica. Sciatica pain happens when you impact the sciatic nerve. The pain can feel debilitating. Learn more about how acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with pain management.
Sciatica can create discomfort along the nerve’s pathway which runs from your lower back to your buttocks and down the back of your thigh and calf. Some people experience mild pain, whereas others may experience a sharp and burning sensation. The effects of sciatica pain often become worse when we sneeze or cough. Some people experience numbness or muscle weakness or a tingling sensation when they suffer from this condition.
Sciatica pain is something that we regularly treat at the clinic. The important thing to understand is that it rarely starts overnight. We often hear that our patients experience this kind of pain for prolonged periods of time with no relief before coming for help. If you're sitting there suffering, it would be wise to seek professional help.
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We often get asked questions about how to relieve this pain. In this article, we'll try to teach you some acupressure points that may temporarily help you to relieve the sciatica pain in your lower back pain.
What Is Sciatica Pain
What is Sciatica Pain
Sciatica refers to pain caused by the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve carries messages from the spinal cord down your leg. When this nerve is impacted it can cause pain. The pain typically radiates down one side of your body from your lower back towards the back of your knee or ankle. This condition is most common in people between the age of thirty to fifty.
Sciatica can occur as a result of a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone on your vertebrae. Sometimes, the sciatic nerve can be compressed by a tumor or damaged by a disease such as diabetes.
Risk Factors for Sciatica Pain
A number of risk factors contribute to the development of sciatica::
Sitting for long periods of time can contribute to the development of sciatica. People who live a more sedentary lifestyle have a higher chance of developing sciatica than people who live a more active lifestyle.
Obesity increases the loading on your body. It increases the stress on your spine. Excess weight can contribute to changes in your spine that trigger sciatica.
Your spine changes as your age. Herniated disks and bone spurs are the amongst the most common causes of sciatica.
Diabetes can change the way your body uses blood sugar, and in doing so, it can increase your risk of nerve damage.
An occupation that requires you to carry heavy loads or twist your back may contribute to the development of sciatica. Similarly, if you are in an occupation that requires you to drive a motor vehicle for long periods, it may also play a role in sciatica.
Acupuncture for Sciatica Pain
Acupuncture helps you to relax tight muscles. It can improve your blood circulation, and help you to regulate your nervous system, releasing neurotransmitters to reduce pain.
Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for sciatica without the side effects of prescription pain medications. Acupuncture is a safe and non-surgical treatment option that can relieve sciatica pain. If you're interested in getting an acupuncture appointment for your sciatica pain, follow this link.
Research into acupuncture for sciatica found that acupuncture improved sciatica symptoms better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatment. In addition, acupuncture helps to enhance the effects of medications that may be prescribed for sciatica.
Sciatica Pain Self Treatments
We can try to manage the pain ourselves to some extent, however it is always best to seek professional help for the best results.
If you're sitting at home looking for ways to manage the pain, let's get into it. Our goal is to manage the pain by improving circulation in the affected area. We will try to increase the blood flow and adjust the nerve signal of the pain.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we aim to identify the affected channels in the meridian system. The Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians system is our version of a map for the body. Once we have identified the location of the problem in the meridian system. We will use acupuncture or acupressure to alleviate the symptoms.
1. Sciatica Pain (Pattern 1)
Pain from the lower back to the hamstring.
With your palm facing upwards towards yourself, draw a line from the wrist (on the thumb side) all the way up towards the elbow and focus on the section close towards the elbow. Use the picture below for reference.
Massage along the lines drawn in the picture and especially at points that have been "starred". When you find a tender spot, press and hold for ten to fifteen seconds, at the same time, move your lower back and leg gently. Move onto the next tender spot and repeat the procedure.
2. Sciatica Pain (Pattern 2)
Pain from your hip to the IT band.
With your palm facing upwards towards yourself, draw a line from the wrist (on the side of the little finger) all the way up towards the elbow and focus on the section close towards the elbow. Use the picture below for reference.
Again, massage along the lines drawn in the picture and especially at points that have been "starred". When you find a tender spot, press and hold for ten to fifteen seconds, at the same time, move your lower back and leg gently. Move onto the next tender spot and repeat the procedure.
The techniques outlined above may help to provide you with temporary relief, however, the best course of action is to seek help from a professional. We have to try our best to maintain our health and well-being at all times to live a long and fulfilling life.
Our clinic has over thirty years of experience in helping patients get to the root of their symptoms. If you're interested in seeing our experienced practitioners who can help you with your aches and pain, follow the link below:
Do you want to learn a few more self-help treatments that you can do at home? We've got you covered. Click here to learn more.
Learn More About Chinese Medicine
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