Sciatica Doesn’t Have To Be a Pain In The Behind

Sciatica is a very common condition that can cause a lot of pain and grief, making life hard to handle due to back and leg pain.

What are the causes?
Sciatica occurs when pressure is applied to the large sciatic nerve that starts in the spine and runs down the posterior side of the leg. The nerve can get compressed for many reasons including:

  • A pelvic injury
  • Slipped or herniated disc
  • Piriformis syndrome – the nerve can become compressed by this muscle in the buttocks.
  • Spinal tumors
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms depend on the location and severity of the compression or impingement. You might feel a dull ache, mild tingling, burning sensation, pain or a combination of these symptoms. When pain is severe, movement is usually very limited. This condition usually progresses slowly and then only gets worse. Also, the location of the pain can identify the source of the problem, helping an experienced professional know the source.

Is acupuncture effective?
Research shows acupuncture treatments are more effective than standard medical treatments. It can help by:

  • Relaxing muscle tension, increasing mobility and circulation to the problem area.
  • Regulate Qi and also stimulate the body to release neurochemicals such as endorphins to help with the pain.
  • Reduce inflammation

Studies that confirm acupunctures effectiveness for sciatica
A study from Meji University found that acupuncture when administered on lab animals, showed that there was an increase in sciatic nerve blood flow (56.9%) and 100% increase in both pudendal and sciatic nerve stimulation.

The stimulation of the needles had a major impact on the pain inhibitory system with a transient change in circulation to the nerve root as well as sciatic nerve blood flow.

Some suggestions to help you heal even faster
Any treatment, including acupuncture, isn’t going to be effective if you don’t take responsibility to to implement self-care and change habits that got you in trouble in the first place. Here are some tips to get back on your feet as fast as possible.

  • Exercise – This might sound crazy, but staying active is the best way to speed up recovery. However, depending on how severe your condition dictates what you should do and how much. Exercise in this sense is walking. Everyday, do some walking. Stop when you start feeling any pain. For a lot of people, walking for 5 minutes around the house at first for two to three times a day is what’s needed to help the problem. As it improves, more exercise or walking can be performed.

Also…

  • Don’t sit for long periods of time
  • Don’t cross your legs
  • Avoid bending over at the waist
  • Avoid standing in one place for too long

Sciatica doesn’t have to take over your life. With the proper treatment and taking your exercise and recovery seriously, you can recover and prevent this from happening in the future.