fertility acupuncture

Today’s modern lifestyle has introduced many health problems that can’t seem to be solved with Western medicine. For this reason, more and more people are turning to alternative therapies, many of which are safe and effective. Acupuncture is one treatment method that is growing in popularity across the nation for treating a wide range of clinical conditions, including sciatica. To understand how it can work for sciatica, you must understand how acupuncture works in general.

Acupuncture Basics

Acupuncture is a procedure that uses very thin needles that are inserted into the skin at specific points along the body. These points align with energy points along the body’s meridians and help balance the mind and body. Those who practice acupuncture believe that blockages in these channels impact the body’s energy flow and can be responsible for many health problems. The blockages can be caused by a number of issues, such as toxins, stress, trauma, hormones, and a poor diet. Treating these blockages can stimulate flow of energy (Qi) and boost the body’s natural pain controls and healing processes.

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica is a type of nerve pain that can be debilitating. It is usually a symptom of an underlying medical condition of the lower back area. The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and runs through the buttocks and the back of each leg, where it branches off into different areas in the lower leg.

Typically, it is caused by compression, structural impingement, and irritation of nerve roots in the lumbar spine. It may occur when there is an acute injury to this region of the back, or it can originate from long-term degeneration of the lumbar spine. Common causes of sciatica include:

  • Degenerative disc disease, where the discs that provide a cushion between the vertebrae break down
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Spondylolisthesis, which is a fracture in a portion of vertebrae that results in it slipping forward onto another vertebra
  • Pregnancy, which increases the pressure on the lumbar spine
  • Herniated lumbar disc, also called a slipped disc
  • Bulging discs
  • Pinched nerves, where the cushion between vertebrae is pushed to the outer portion of the spine

Sciatic pain is typically only felt in one side of the body and starts in the lower back or the buttocks and travels down the back of the leg. Symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Constant pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness or difficulty moving in one leg
  • Burning or searing pain down one leg
  • Shooting or sharp pain down one leg

These symptoms may also worsen when sitting for a long time, and it can be difficult for those with sciatica to stand.

Traditional treatments for sciatica include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen. But these drugs can have severe side effects, such as cardiovascular complications, gastrointestinal bleeding, and stomach ulcers. Severe cases may also require opiate-based pain killers, which can be highly addictive, or surgery, which also presents additional patient risks.

How Does Acupuncture Help Sciatica?

Acupuncture for sciatica works similar to general acupuncture, although the needles are often inserted into the lower calf or ankle area and along the wrist or forearm. The nervous system response to the inserted needles stimulates a brain reaction that releases endorphins and enkephalins, both of which are natural painkillers. It also increases blood flow to the area and relaxes the muscles in the region. The muscle relaxation can ease any compression or nerve impingement, which often corresponds to relief from sciatic pain.

Many people with chronic sciatica will explore acupuncture as a treatment alternative. It is highly effective. It has fewer side effects. Acupuncture has proven more effective than Western medicine regarding clinical outcomes, pain intensity, and pain threshold. For example, one study showed that acupuncture efficacy is at 81.6%, whereas when combined with traditional Chinese herbal therapy, the efficacy can reach 95%.

Sciatica is a debilitating condition for many people. The pain from this condition can interfere with most everyday activities and severely decrease one’s quality of life. However, acupuncture provides a safe alternative to traditional therapies. It is an ideal treatment method for patients looking for long-term pain relief, and it can often enhance the overall function of your body. In addition, it has many health benefits without the serious side effects caused by many treatments with Western medicine.

Contact MK Integrative Wellness today to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture in treating sciatica. Our knowledgeable staff can determine whether you may find relief from sciatica symptoms with acupuncture.

MK Integrative Wellness offers various natural and Traditional Asian medicine options that use naturopathic medicine principles, from consultations, acupuncture, customized herbal formulations, natural pain management, and more. Our team can help you to manage your health and wellness through herbal medicine options proactively.