Acupuncture for Sciatica


Sciatica is pain caused by the sciatic nerve when it becomes inflamed or trapped. The sciatic nerve starts in your lower back at the lumbar region of your spine and spreads out towards your hips, over your buttocks and down the back of your legs to your ankles. The pain is often felt as a constant dull ache in your lower back which can become a sharper stabbing pain in the upper leg with a tingling pins and needles sensation radiating down to your knee and sometimes as far as your ankle. Usually only one side of the body is affected. Occasionally pain can be felt in the front of your upper leg and groin. Simple tasks like putting on your socks and shoes or getting in and out of a car become difficult and painful.

Sitting in an upright position with your back supported often feels the comfiest, however the pain and discomfort can increase with sitting for too long in the same position, such as when watching tv or driving, and you find yourself fidgeting around every few minutes trying to find a new comfier position. Standing up will sometimes help but again, standing for too long (especially in one position) will create more pain and discomfort, in which case sitting down can help. And so the cycle of pain continues.

The cause of the sciatica may be temporary or permanent depending on what has irritated the sciatic nerve. The pain is often managed by over-the-counter painkillers or stronger prescription drugs if necessary. In some cases, surgery may be a last resort.

Acupuncture is very good for managing the pain from sciatica and provides an alternative for many people to popping pills all the time.

I have successfully treated sciatica in the clinic, including my husband who has a degenerative lower back condition which has trapped his sciatic nerve, causing him constant pain and forcing him to leave his job. He has acupuncture treatments every 2-3 weeks to help manage the pain and discomfort which allows him to reduce the amount of over-the-counter painkillers he takes. I know when he is in pain and ready for another acupuncture session because he is constantly shifting his position trying to get comfortable. For him, acupuncture will not cure the sciatica but it relieves the pain sufficiently to allow him to lead a relatively normal life. If you or someone you know is suffering from sciatica, why not give acupuncture a try.

Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.