Sciatica is a feeling of pain (can be shooting pain), weakness, numbness and or tingling emanating from the lower back but can also affect the gluteals and legs all the way down to the feet. The pain or sensation can be mild or severe and can be there occasionally or all the time. It is often worse when sitting or standing/walking and better when lying.
The sciatic nerve originates around the lower back (L4-S1) region and all of the trouble is because of pressure or impingement of the nerve. This pressure or impingement can be caused by a range of issues including herniated discs, piriformis muscle syndrome, degenerative discs or arthritis. In most cases there is some form of inflammation putting pressure on the sciatic nerve resulting in problems.
Western Treatments for Sciatica
- Heat or ice – by applying hot or cold it can help relieve the problem area for a short time.
- Drugs – anti-inflammatories, pain-killers and steroids can be used to try to control the pain. These target the symptom and do little to address the root cause of the problem. They are also harmful when taken longer-term.
- Exercises – specific exercises aim to relieve pressure on the nerve.
- Manipulation therapy – aims to reduce nerve pressure or impingement via chiropractic or physiotherapy. These therapies work on the local area.
- Epidural – direct steroid injection via epidural. A second-last resort.
- Surgery – considered when all other less-invasive and risky therapies have been exhausted. A last resort.
Acupuncture Treatment for Sciatica
Acupuncture treats sciatica by reprogramming the central nervous system to re-establish normal blood flow to the area. With increased blood flow come the body’s natural repair crew (white blood cells, macrophages, collagen, etc…) and pain killers (endorphins and enkephalins) to reduce inflammation and repair the problem. By reducing inflammation and stimulating the body to repair itself the pressure or impingement on the sciatic nerve is reduced or eliminated to bring pain and symptom relief. Acupuncture melbourne can therefore give both symptomatic relief and build long-term relief at the same time.
Acupuncture is a safe, natural and highly effective treatment for sciatica pain.