How Acupuncture May Help Sciatica
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can be as versatile and effective as Western medicine, and can be used to treat a wide variety of health issues. In particular, acupuncture is often used to treat neuropathic conditions like sciatica very successfully.
Acupuncture and Sciatica
Review the list of licensed acupuncturists in your area, and interview them by phone. Ask about your practitioner’s experience, and make sure you’re comfortable with him or her. Sciatica is a very common ailment treated by acupuncturists, and virtually any experienced practitioner will have extensive experience with the issue. Make sure your practitioner is licensed by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and board certified where it is required
Talk with your therapist; communication is vital to successful treatment. Answer your acupuncturist’s questions about your physical activity, any injuries you may have suffered in the past, your diet and even just how your life is going. If your practitioner doesn’t have a full picture of your current health, he or she will have difficulty treating you properly.
Begin treatments, which involve the insertion of needles into specific points along a system of meridians in the body designed to stimulate the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy. When the Qi is slowed or blocked, you will become ill; in the case of sciatica, you will have pain in your lower back and down one or both legs. Allow your acupuncturist to insert sterile stainless-steel needles into specific points along these meridians to stimulate the flow of Qi, allowing your body heal itself. Your treatment will move Qi through your system, increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, alleviate pain and reduce stress.
Relax during your acupuncture treatment and allow the stress to dissipate. Beyond inflammation, stress can be one of the biggest causes of lower back pain. Stress-related tension can constrict the muscles around your sciatic nerve.
Keep coming. Sometimes sciatic pain can be addressed in a single visit, but usually you will need several acupuncture sessions to achieve a desired result. Talk to your practitioner. The goal should be to get you to a place where you don’t have to come back unless you are in pain.