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Can Acupuncture Help Sciatica Pain

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Are There Side Effects To Acupuncture For Sciatica

Acupuncture for sciatica pain

One of the main benefits of acupuncture is that there are few, if any, side effects. Those that do occur are mild and short-lived.

You may experience mild soreness or bruising at the needle site. Some patients have minor bleeding after pin removal. Others might experience dizziness.

In exceedingly rare cases, patients may experience localized internal bleeding, hepatitis B, nerve damage, and increased pain. Reduce your chances of serious side effects drastically by finding an acupuncturist through a professional directory .

Hand Points Hard Points Of Acquisition

The hand point on your back is directly related to stress and rigidity, making acupuncture on your hand seem unlikely for your back pain. In this case, firm pressure at the hand points reduces tension and rigidity.

Your Hand Location: A point is located between your index finger and your thumb. Press again and again for three seconds on the hard surface, until you feel the pain soften.

Change In Inclusion Criteria

We planned to enroll patients with acute, subcute, and chronic sciatica initially. However, as many patients chose to stay at home rather than visit doctors under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized it could be very hard to enroll patients with acute sciatica. After discussions with experts, we finally decided to enroll patients with sciatica for 1month or longer. This change was made on May 28, 2020.

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How Effective Is Acupuncture In Relieving Sciatic Pain

Lower back pain is one of the ailments that acupuncturists frequently treat, including cases in which low back pain is accompanied by sciatica . Several studies investigating the efficacy of acupuncture show its success in treating both acute and chronic sciatica symptoms .

Studies show that acupuncture can often outperform NSAIDs in treating sciatica, while also resulting in fewer side effects .

Continued medical innovation has also yielded several advancements in acupuncture technique, which have improved outcomes. For example, electroacupuncture shows strong promise and has outperformed other forms of electrotherapy, while recent research suggests that needle insertion directly targeting the sciatic nerve can improve on traditional acupuncture .


Although more studies are needed to understand acupuncture, current research suggests that acupuncture performs similarly to medications like NSAIDs in terms of pain relief and treatment of sciatica.

Can Acupuncture Help Sciatica

Can Acupuncture Relieve Sciatica Pain?

Can acupuncture help nerve pain?

From the above discussion, we can proudly say that acupuncture for nerve pain is a very healthy technique for sciatic patients.

According to Healthcare Medicine Institute, acupuncture for sciatica has a success rate of 81.6% overall. And if teamed up with herbal medicines, acupuncture for sciatic pain relief becomes 95% effective.

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Can Acupuncture Help Sciatica Does Acupuncture Ever Help With Sciatica Pain

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What Are The Basics Of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care centers around spinal manipulation and other manual therapies to help relieve pain and treat conditions.

In the United States, all chiropractors are required earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree before they can practice. They also need to earn licensure in the state where they work.

Chiropractic care is considered a holistic healthcare method. This means that it focuses on care for your whole body and not just the specific area of your pain.

A chiropractor will ask you about your pain as well as your health history at your first appointment. This helps them develop a specialized treatment plan for you.

You might also have X-rays taken, so the chiropractor can understand whats causing your pain. For example, an X-ray might show that your spine is narrowed and pinching your sciatic nerve.

Treatment involves stretching and applying controlled pressure to your joints. The chiropractor might recommend specific exercises for you to do at home to help with your pain. Some may also provide nutrition and wellness education that can help relieve your symptoms.

Youll generally need to see a chiropractor multiple times before you begin to get relief from sciatica.

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Does Acupuncture Help Sciatica

There is good quality evidence to show that acupuncture is a good treatment option for sciatic and;other nerve pain of the leg. There are several acupuncture channels passing from the area of the lower back and hip down the legs. These often follow the pathways of pain described by patients;and can be used to help to relive the pain. We use local and distal points on these channels to; promote the circulation around and away from the site of pain and promote healing.

Acupuncture has been found to have an anti inflammatory effect in the body. It works on local;muscle and nerve tissue to promote circulation of blood and immune system modulation. It has;been found to have an effect to reduce the sensitivity of pain preceptors in the brain. Acupuncture;is also understood to promote levels of serotonin and noradrenaline which help with pain control;and speed up the repair of nerves.

Picture of the acupuncture channels of the lower body

Islington Acupuncture:

How The Chinese Medicine Sees Sciatica

How to Treat Sciatica With Acupuncture

The Chinese medicine system sees the body as a whole. Practically, all elements are connected in one way or another. Treatments are based on spotting particular imbalances throughout the body. Correcting these imbalances will correct the root cause. In other words, symptoms will slowly fade away, while the body will heal in a natural manner. Obviously, there are a few imbalances associated with sciatica too, so acupuncture is a common solution in the Chinese medicine.

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Using Acupressure For Sciatic Nerve Pain

Acupressure points for sciatica are something to consider for added relief at home. Acupressure uses the finger to apply sustained pressure onto acupoints, stimulating the nervous system without needles. If you are interested in using acupressure at home between treatments, speak with us at one of your acupuncture sessions. If appropriate, we can show you acupressure points that you can use for your sciatic pain, either on yourself or with the help of a friend or family member.

How Does Acupuncture Work For Sciatica

Acupuncture works;physiologically. When the tiny needles are inserted into;particular spots;in the body, they naturally trigger the essential points of the peripheral nervous system. This type of action from the nervous system prompts the brain to:;

  • Help the muscles relax the targeted area;
  • Speed up the flow of blood to the affected spot;
  • Release;enkephalins and endorphins ;

These benefits can be felt the moment the needles are inserted. This type of treatment works under the concept of;Qi;energy, which represents the natural flow of energy in the human body. When certain spots have been blocked, and no energy gets to them, they can malfunction, later resulting in pain, discomfort, or disease.;;

The treatment is meant to stabilize the flow of Qi in the human body to unblock all the;meridians; and heal the pain. Lets;take a look;at the following diagram.;;

The sciatic nerve extends from the lower back to the buttocks, hips, and down both legs. Each section has its own set of meridians. The diagram features all the acupuncture points on the upper body, just above the lower back, to the legs and feet. These are all sections that the sciatic pain can influence.;;

An experienced acupuncturist will have to activate these meridians and unblock the flow of Qi. Only then, the blood flow can be restored to help manage the pain.;;

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Dietary Recommendations And Lifestyles For Sciatica

A diet high in potassium can help you to recover from Sciatica. There are four healthy potassium sources: bananas, oranges, potatoes, and spirulina. Moreover, dark, blistery, vegetables like potatoes and black beans, kidney beans, and soybeans are also beneficial in treating sciatica. Salty, fried, or gratifying foods should be avoided as well as milky products. Exercise can also help you live a healthier lifestyle. If they are ignored, the lumbar spine and low back muscles can weaken, leading to severe effects when sitting for long periods of time without getting up. Furthermore, this results in the weakening of the lumbar areas muscles, which are then prone to slipping onto the disks. In order to keep a healthy back, you should stretch and move throughout the day after the pain has subsided.

How Acupuncture Can Help Sciatica

Terry F.: How can acupuncture help sciatica

Acupuncture works by relaxing tight muscles, improving blood circulation, regulating the nervous system, and releasing neurotransmitters to reduce pain.

Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for sciatica without the side effects of prescription pain medications like NSAIDs and muscle relaxers. It is also a safe, non-surgical treatment option that can relieve sciatica pain.

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How Does Acupuncture Relieve Pain

How does acupuncture relieve pain?

No matter for what reason you are taking acupuncture treatment, its mechanism and the way it affects the body and brain remain the same.

The only difference is in the points where your therapist will insert the needles. And this depends on the origin of pain.

Similarly, in acupuncture for sciatica nerve pain, there are specific acupoints that your acupuncturist would know.

These specific acupoints when pricked by the needles, stimulate the nerve endings which results in;

  • Regeneration of motor and sensory nerve fibers
  • Release of endorphins and enkephalins from nerve endings which in turn relieve pain.
  • Enhancement of blood flow
  • Relaxation of the muscles

Does acupuncture work for sciatica?

There is no doubt in accepting the fact that acupuncture for sciatica is one of the best treatment options. It is even better for people who hate medicines and are afraid of surgery.

So, unless its an advanced case of sciatica, acupuncture works very well for sciatica pain relief.

Do Chiropractors Help With Sciatica Nerve Pain

Chiropractors are experts in many fields. They offer relief for chronic pain, car accident injuries, and other ailments. Can this be true of sciatic nerve pain too? Can a chiropractor help with sciatic nerve pain?

Clinical medicine or medical specialties have their way of treating diseases and disorders in the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, and basically the whole human body. However, in some cases, chiropractic treatment techniques are quite enough to get you back at your feet.

Can chiropractors help with sciatica and relieve pain or help reduce the pain?

Many people who have had back surgery or those suffering from chronic back problems find that a visit to the chiropractor is helpful in relieving their symptoms and improving their quality of life.

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The Benefits Of Using Acupuncture To Treat Sciatica:

Acupuncture for sciatica is very beneficial because it can treat the underlying cause of pain by removing toxins from your body and toning your muscles. Unlike other methods, acupuncture does not involve harsh or invasive treatments; instead, acupuncturists use fine needles to pierce the skin and stimulate specific areas of your body in order to remove excess water, blood and toxins. Because of this, acupuncture is highly beneficial in relieving sciatica pain while also improving your overall health.

How Does Acupuncture For Sciatica Work To Help Relieve Pain

Can sciatica pain be cured by acupuncture?- Dr. Mohan M R

Acupuncture for sciatica works by stimulating specific points on the skin with needles to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, which reduces inflammation and pain. Acupuncture is especially effective for sciatica because it can address the root cause of the problem.

Treating the inflammation on its own might seem to help, but because it does not correct the underlying problem, sciatica can come back soon after treatment ends. Repeating successful actions is the key to keep sciatica symptoms away.

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Study Characteristics And Quality

All of the included trials originated in China, with a total of 1842 participants . Of the 12 included studies, 11 demonstrated no significant difference at baseline in gender, age, and other basic information and the remaining study did not report any information about the participants. Two studies have two control groups. Mean age ranged between 18.0 and 77.0 years and disease duration ranged from 4 days to 18 years. Uniformity of inclusion criteria was limited, with five studies mentioning the type of sciatica and two studies not stating the duration of symptoms. The basic characteristics of the included trials are presented in . presents details of acupuncture treatment and control interventions of studies included in the meta-analysis.

What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatica is usually due to a spinal herniated disc or bulging disc pressing on the lumbar or sacral nerve roots. Other problems that may cause sciatica include disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, and pelvic tumors. A major trauma like lifting something that is very heavy can damage the disc. Repetitive micro-trauma over a period of time can also damage the disc.;These traumas damage or weaken the cartilage of the outer walls of the disc to varying degrees. As pressure is put onto a disc, the inner material of the disc can rupture out of its normal space. As a result, these traumas can cause the discs thin out, degenerate, bulge, or herniate.

The;discs of the spine function both as shock absorbers and spacers to separate the bones of the spine. Thereby the discs allow more space for the spinal nerves to exit from the spinal cord without being pinched.

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Will Acupuncture Help Sciatica And Sciatic Nerve Pain

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, which consists of a large bundle of smaller nerves that begin in the lumbar spine, travel down the buttocks, and move through the leg.

Technically, sciatica is not a disease, but a group of symptoms that affect the region of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is not a conventional medical diagnosis. It has several possible causes and these may lead to different treatments, so we use the term sciatica to describe a set of symptoms.

Radiating pain is one of the more common and intense symptoms associated with sciatica. There can also be numbness and tingling starting in the lower back radiating down the leg. These may include back pain but there may be only hip, leg pain or even foot pain. Sometimes there is minimal pain and the patient mostly suffers from numbness or tingling, we call paresthesia. There may be leg weakness or coldness. The presentation is variable and usually happens only on one side. The pain may be described as aching, stabbing or burning.

Some of the more common causes of sciatica include the idea of the nerve getting pinched. Pressure can cause the nerve to become inflamed which causes the nerve to malfunction. The pressure may come near the spine where the nerves that feed the legs come from. It may occur in the hip joint or near the muscle known as piriformis. In most cases, inflammation encourages increased pressure by causing the tissues to swell.

Sciatica Symptoms And Signs: How Does It Affect Me

How Acupuncture For Sciatica Works To Relieve Pain ...

Having the pain radiate down the back of the leg, down the buttock, and down the back of the calf is enough to recognize the symptoms of sciatica. A tingling, burning sensation called paresthesia can accompany this pattern on one side of the body.

If its more severe, the pain may feel like a jolt or a mild, dull pain. There is a spectrum of pain associated with sciatica, so dont dismiss it because it isnt extreme. You may have sciatica if you feel pain radiating from your legs.

Nerve irritation and tingling or pins and needles sensations in the foot are sometimes felt with sciatica. Symptoms may include leg numbness, muscle weakness, discomfort when standing, difficulty breathing, and anxiety.

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Pregnancy
  • Wear and tear on the lower spine

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Seattle Tacoma & Bellevue Clinics

The painful and elusive sciatica – what is it, and how does acupuncture help?

A large majority of our patients experience sciatic pain at some point in their lives. But what does sciatica mean? The term sciatic pain is used to describe pain caused by the impingement of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, and runs down the back of the spine and into the legs and feet. Irritation or impingement of the nerve can cause radiating pain, weakness, or a burning or tingling sensation. This discomfort can be felt in the low back, glute;area, the side of or back of one leg, and sometimes in the shin and foot.

Many of our patients pain is due to an impingement of this nerve at the low back, while others have impingement in the buttock area . The pain patterns of these two may be different but acupuncture can often treat both types ofsciatic pain naturally.

How Can Acupuncture And Traditional Chinese Medicine Help Relieve Sciatica Pain

Acupuncture for sciatica has been shown to significantly decrease the amount of pain that is experienced daily. Many acupuncture practices report a 90% success rate in relieving the pain of sciatica. Acupuncture treatment and the use Traditional Chinese Medicine to increase the support of the muscles around the sciatic nerve is the most effective at relieving pain over the long term.

The Chinese philosophy is to balance the energy flow in the leg and therefore relieve the pain. The acupuncture points used are mainly in the lower back and affected legs. The needles follow the path of the sciatic nerve and directly stimulate it.

Scientific research has shown the acupuncture is successful in treating back pain and sciatica through the following mechanisms:

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