Can Acupuncture Help With Sciatica?

Oct 05, 2022

Bob Sharma

If you’ve ever suffered from a pinched nerve in your neck or back pain that makes it difficult to move around, you know how debilitating it can be – and how much it can ruin your day, or even week, depending on how long the pain lasts.

Sciatica is a combination of these two pains. With the feeling of a pinched nerve that causes pain to affect multiple areas of your body, sciatica can be debilitating and cause immense pain and discomfort.

If you’ve never tried acupuncture before, you may not know about this natural treatment that can help your body with healing itself, and give you relief from pain. If you have tried acupuncture, then chances are you have a good sense of how much it can help you with various types of pain.

Acupuncture is a great treatment for sciatica.

What is sciatica and what can cause it?

Your sciatic nerves connect from your lower back and through your hips, buttocks, and lower legs. Sciatica is a term that describes pain that radiates down the sciatic nerve (beginning from the lower back and down through to your lower legs).

Pain symptoms can vary greatly from person to person – depending on the extent of the injury – from being a sharp pain, a burning sensation, or a mild ache, to even excruciating pain that feels unbearable and inhibits your ability to move about freely.

It may even feel like a jolt – exacerbated by coughing – or leave you with a feeling of numbness or tingling in the foot or leg on the side with pain. In many cases, sciatica only affects one side of the body.

How is sciatica caused? Well, it is often the nerve being pinched, which can happen as a result of a herniated disc. It sits between your spinal vertebrae, cushioning them to prevent your bones from grinding together and causing you pain.

A herniated disc can be caused by excessive weight, physically demanding jobs, smoking, being sedentary, and even genetics. Risk factors for sciatica also include age and diabetes.

Is there a difference between sciatica and back pain?

Yes. Back pain is located directly in the back, whether the upper, middle, or lower back. While sciatica can begin in the lower back, it is characterized by pain in the sciatic nerve, which radiates down further into your body.

Back pain is often the result of a muscle injury, or a sprain in the ligament. This can be caused by improper posture while lifting something heavy, poor posture, and even a lack of regular exercise; working your core abdominal muscles can help support your back, as the muscles are very interconnected.

How can acupuncture help?

Acupuncture is a natural treatment for pain that helps to relax your muscles and improve blood circulation, which promotes your body’s natural ability to heal. Research has shown that acupuncture is a proven, effective method for treating sciatica, and in some cases may even be more effective than traditional medical care for back pain.

Acupuncture stimulates your nerves, causing them to release endorphins (our body’s natural ‘painkiller’) and relieving you of pain. Additionally, as your muscles relax, the body is less stiff, allowing you to better relax and let your body heal itself as you rest.

How many sessions do I need?

While the number of treatments needed will vary from person to person, on average, individuals receive 6 treatments to help with their sciatica. In some cases, this number will be lower, and in others, more treatments may be recommended.

Ultimately, depending on the amount of pain sciatica is causing, you may seek out multiple treatments. Acupuncture is a great way to help alleviate some of the pain you’re feeling, as well as help the body heal. Without acupuncture, sciatica may take up to 2 months to resolve itself (assuming there are no other movements that trigger a flare-up).

At Park Place Clinic, we want you to live pain-free. That’s why we offer acupuncture as part of our services and are dedicated to helping relieve you of your sciatica pain. Visit us today for an appointment.

You can book online or give us a call at (604) 646-6699.