Treating Sciatic Pain with Acupuncture

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Chances are, you are familiar with the term sciatica— leg pain along the pathway of the sciatic nerve– maybe you or someone you know suffers from it. Sciatica is a very common symptom seen in acupuncture practices, sometimes accompanied by low back pain, sometimes on its own.

Sciatica can be caused by many different underlying conditions, including muscle spasm, herniated discs, and narrowing of the spinal column. It also has many varied presentations. Some people feel pain, which can be aching, stabbing, or burning. Other people only feel tingling or numbness in the area. The sensation can be in the hip or buttocks and can radiate down the leg into the thigh or even all the way down to the toes. It can go down the back, side, or front of the leg, and it can even skip one part of the leg and reappear in another part.

Most acupuncturists will be familiar with treating sciatica in its many presentations. If you are coming in for treatment, it is important for you to describe the exact location of the pain/sensation, so that the acupuncturist knows what pathways are involved.

While some acupuncturists will treat sciatica by directly inserting a needle into the low back, buttocks, or other area of pain, in community acupuncture practices we usually treat sciatica using points on the hands, arms, legs, and feet. This allows you to remain clothed and relaxed during the treatment.

This distal (away from the site of the pain) treatment can produce some really great results. So, if you know someone who is suffering from sciatica, please send them over. I love to help people get out of pain!

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