Sciatica Treatable With Acupuncture

Posted July 20, 2007 by Acupuncture & Massage College & filed under Acupuncture and Massage College

Back pain is one of the leading reasons people see a health care provider. While there is no definitive therapy to treat low back pain and sciatica, acupuncture can play an important role in the reduction of back pain by reducing recovery time and preventing a chronic condition from developing.

Sciatica is pain in the lower back or hip that radiates down into the back of a leg, often caused by a herniated vertebral disc pressing on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the pelvis through the hip area and down the back of each leg. When the sciatic nerve is pinched, inflamed, or damaged, pain may radiate along the length of the sciatic nerve to the foot. Sciatica may occur anywhere along the nerve, but usually follows a path from the low back through the hip area to the back of the thigh and calf.

Most cases of sciatica are treatable with physical therapy and pain medication. Allopathic medicine most often treats back pain with pain relief prescriptions or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs provide pain relief but also have potential side effects such as liver damage and gastric irritation. Back pain can be reduced with acupuncture, decreasing the use of painkillers or other medications that can cause side effects.

Acupuncture causes the body to produce natural steroids and promotes the production of natural endorphins.
Steroids decrease inflammation, while endorphins produced by the body reduce pain. Generally its advisable to have frequent acupuncture treatment initially and decrease sessions as the pain diminishes. Acute pain may resolve in a few sessions. More treatments may be necessary if there is reoccurring chronic pain, or sciatica.

The National Institutes of Health states that acupuncture is an acceptable alternative to conventional therapies for low back pain. It has been estimated that up to 80% of the world’s population experience back pain at some point in their lives, with the lower back as the most common location of pain. Acupuncture can maintain treatment outcomes for up to six months or longer without the negative side effects that occur with traditional treatment regimes. Look in your local yellow pages for a licensed acupuncturist for treatment of sciatica. For more information on Acupuncture trreatment contact Dr. Richard Browne at 305.595.9500.

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