Acupuncture for sciatica
The sciatic nerve pathway follows the same pathway as the gallbladder channel in Chinese medicine. Local acupuncture points along this channel may help to relieve tight muscles and take the pressure off of the sciatic nerve. Acupuncture also helps to restore blood flow to the area, which is essential for nourishing tissues and promoting healing. In addition to the local effects of acupuncture, acupuncture has systemic effects in treating chronic pain and inflammation. There is evidence to suggest that acupuncture has the ability to “re-map” the brain and help change the body’s response to pain.
Electric stimulation or “e-stim” is often used in combination with acupuncture for the treatment of sciatica. E-stim helps the body produce endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers. There is research to support that e-stim also blocks or misdirects pain signals from entering the nervous system. To treat or even cure sciatica, it is recommended to have acupuncture on a regular basis until the pain decreases, and to then follow a maintenance regimen as directed by your acupuncturist.
Does acupuncture work for sciatica?
In a research study published by Healthcare Medicine Institute, it was found that “Acupuncture as a standalone therapy had a total effective rate of 81.6% for the relief of pain due to sciatica and restoration of normal function. Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine achieved a 95% total effective rate.”