The use of acupuncture for sciatica treatment is a gradually growing practice. Affecting about 15% of the US population, sciatica is a very common condition caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve on the lower back. The pressure can come from muscle spasms that irritate the nerve resulting in leg, buttock, and lower back pain. Factors that can contribute to the condition include a bulging spinal disk, bad posture, and inflammation in the body. The condition is diagnosed by doctors through a review of the history of symptoms, using nerve conductance tests, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), that reveals problems in the soft tissues.
To calm the symptoms of sciatica, most physicians depend on physical therapy and/or drugs. But an Oriental form of healing known as acupuncture has been found as a safer and non-invasive alternative way of addressing this condition. Acupuncture has minimal, if any, complications and side effects.
Acupuncture has been practiced in China and parts of East Asia for more than 4500 years. It has been well documented in the “Huangdi Neijing,” an ancient Chinese medical text written around 200 B.C.
Evidence also shows that even the Bantu tribesmen of Africa and the Eskimos use acupuncture as a form of treatment for diverse medical purposes. This treatment has millions of adherents and promoters worldwide. In the United States alone, there are over 8,000 qualified practitioners of this very useful healing tradition.
The basis of acupuncture lies in the theory of vital energy known as Qi (Chi) that includes our emotion, spirit, mind, and body. This Qi should flow without any hindrances throughout the body. If this circulation is somehow interrupted, disorders and other diseases develop. Through the placement of small needles into strategic points along the meridians or energy pathways of the body, and by manipulating (rotating, lifting or twirling) the needles, balance within the body can be restored.
The same techniques are used in medical acupuncture, a type of acupuncture that medical physicians utilize. Unlike traditional acupuncturists, medical acupuncturists focus on the disease’s physical aspects instead of striving to bring back balance to the vital energy coursing through the body.
The Benefits That Sciatica Sufferers Can Gain from Acupuncture Treatment in Cleveland:
1. Acupuncture can raise energy levels, giving a person added energy in order to be more healthy and active overall.
2. Acupuncture can boost blood flow in the spinal cord and lumbar region of the body.
3. Acupuncture provides strength and flexibility to the bones and relaxes muscles.
However, one important thing to note is that if the sciatica condition is brought about by a degenerative disease, then acupuncture treatment will not be effective. It might alleviate the pain temporarily by letting off pressure on the disc on muscles and nerves, but it cannot completely cure the disorder and (cannot) rectify the herniation of the disc.
Despite a huge pile of anecdotal evidence supporting acupuncture’s ability to relieve sciatic pain and despite being used in the treatment of sciatica and other back conditions for several hundred years, a study published in in 2009 by the British Medical Journal, conducted by the Nordic Cochrane Centre showed that acupuncture had “a minimal analgesic effect” but “whether needling at certain acupoints, or at any acupoint alleviates pain independently of the psychological impact of the treatment is uncertain.”
According to eHow, “No conclusive scientific study so far has shown that acupuncture works for sciatica but if one decides to undergo acupuncture sciatica treatment, it is recommended that one consults with a doctor and visit a licensed acupuncturist.”
Be that as it may, with a long history of success, TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the best sciatica treatment approach is to utilize a combination-style treatment. In general, the treatment should stretch and relax the fascia and tendons while beefing up the muscles. Acupuncture allows the nerves and back to heal naturally through its ability to release the spastic muscles and making them stronger.
If acupuncture treatment for your sciatica has managed to stop the pain, it is essential that you keep up the treatment to prevent it from returning. One vital part of the therapy is stretching, as this helps maintain the health and relaxation of the muscles. Besides that, performing tai chi, which is a gentle Chinese form of meditation and exercise, can be very good for the health and maintenance of the lower back and the prevention of sciatica.