Scottsdale Acupuncture


Suffering With Sciatica? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Monday, May 18th, 2015 by

sciatica, sciatic pain, pain, acupuncture

Anyone who lives with sciatic pain will tell you what a “pain in the butt” it can be. This is an ailment that often affects people later in life but can also be encountered by younger individuals.

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture, we have seen an increase in patients presenting with this ailment. People will often seek acupuncture treatment for sciatica after exhausting other methods, while trying to avoid surgery. Currently, large portions of the population are unaware that Traditional Chinese Medicine can provide substantial relief to those suffering with this pain.

In response to the greater numbers of people seeking relief from sciatica, we wanted to take some time to write about what it is, what it feels like, what are some causes of this pain and how acupuncture can be used to provide relief.

What is sciatica?

The Mayo Clinic defines sciatica as a pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve — which branches from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body, but in some cases pain can be present down both sides. Sciatica frequently occurs when a herniated disk or a bone spur on the spine compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg(s). [Link]

What does sciatica feel like?

There is some variability in regards to the pain elicited by sciatica. One of the classic signs of sciatica is pain that starts in the low back and then travels down the buttocks through the back of the legs, and can also travel down the sides of the legs.

Some people who experience sciatica will exhibit constant pain regardless of what they do, while others will report intermittent pain that takes place while sitting or standing. Pain can travel down the lateral sides of the legs for some people, while other people will have pain shooting down the back of their legs. There are also some people who will have pain on the sides and the back of their legs, which can be rather extreme and debilitating.

What are some causes of sciatica?

The Cleveland Clinic explains that sciatica might be a symptom of a “pinched nerve” that can affect one or more of the lower spinal nerves. The pinched nerve could be located inside or outside of the spinal canal as it traverses the leg. There are also a few other conditions that can cause sciatica. They range from one or more herniated discs, piriformis syndrome, spinal stenosis and/or spondylolisthesis. [Link]

Can acupuncture treat sciatica?

Acupuncture, which is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, can effectively, naturally and holistically provide relief to those who are suffering with sciatic pain. It is important for the public to be aware that acupuncture is a viable treatment option. It should be considered and used at the very onset of sciatic pain, as it can help to remedy this ailment before it negatively impacts one’s quality of life.

How does acupuncture treat sciatica?

Acupuncture is a holistic medicine that has been evolving for the past 4,000 years, treating a wide range of ailments including sciatica. The primary perspective of the medicine is to provide immediate relief of the symptoms being exhibited while working to resolve the core disharmonies.

After completing an intake, a licensed acupuncturist will use differential diagnosis to determine the cause of the sciatic pain. This is done using the information obtained during the intake as well as using tongue and pulse diagnosis. The acupuncturist will then create and implement a treatment plan aimed at resolving the root issue as well as the symptoms it is causing.

One of the more popular origins of sciatica from a Traditional Chinese Medical perspective is Qi and blood stagnation in the channels/meridians that travel down the back and sides of the legs. Please note that there can be a variety of other diagnoses that could also be possible, including: Kidney Qi deficiency, Spleen Qi deficiency with dampness and Liver Qi Stagnation. [Link] Each of these possible conditions requires specific treatment tailored to the constitution of the patient which can be performed by a licensed acupuncturist.

If you’re in the Tempe, Phoenix or Scottsdale areas, we recommend that you contact us by phone or via the appointment link on this website to schedule an appointment. There’s no reason to suffer with sciatic pain any longer. Come in for acupuncture today!