If you've ever experienced sciatic pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Sciatic pain is often described as a sharp, shooting pain that radiates from the lower back down the leg. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that it is difficult to stand or sit. You might be looking for relief if you're dealing with sciatic pain. And while various treatments are available, acupuncture is an increasingly popular option. But how does it work? Read on to find out.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. It's believed that this helps to stimulate the nervous system and release chemicals in the brain that either block or reduce pain signals. In addition, acupuncture has also been shown to help increase blood flow and release endorphins, natural painkillers.
Does Acupuncture Help?
Although acupuncture has been used to treat various conditions for centuries, it's only recently that Western science has begun to study its efficacy. And while there's still more research to be done, there is some evidence that acupuncture can help relieve pain, including sciatic pain.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that acupuncture was an effective treatment for sciatica. The study looked at 100 patients who were randomly assigned to receive acupuncture treatments or not. The results showed that those who received acupuncture had significantly less pain than those who did not—and what's more, the effects lasted long after the treatments were completed.
Another small study published in 2012 found similar results. This study examined 30 patients suffering from sciatic pain caused by herniated discs. Half of the patients received eight weeks of acupuncture treatments, while the other half received no treatments. At the end of the eight weeks, those who had received acupuncture reported significantly less pain than those who had not—and what's more, they were also able to walk further and climb stairs more easily. A 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that "acupuncture is effective and recommended for treating [sciatica]."
If you're dealing with sciatic pain, you might wonder what treatment options are available. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for sciatica, providing relief from pain with long-lasting effects. While there are various options, acupuncture is an increasingly popular choice—and for a good reason.
Acupuncture can help you be calm and at the same time boost your immune system. Who doesn't need help with both those things? We are living in interesting and often difficult times! Stress is everywhere; chemical, physical, and mental. Get the support you need to thrive on. Here is a link to a cool abstract entitled: Acupuncture is effective to attenuate stress and stimulate lymphocyte proliferation in the elderly. It's always lovely to get western medical research to validate this ancient modality.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been around a long time. Acupuncture is one modality that falls under the framework of TCM. I like to explain it in physiological terms that most people can relate to, hence my choosing Modern Edge Acupuncture as my business name. Fellow acupuncturist and functional medicine practitioner, Chris Kresser, wrote a series of articles a few years back that he entitled, Chinese Medicine Demystified. Instead of regurgitating what he so eloquently put together, I will send you over to his site to check them out. It is a 6 part series, that goes like this:
Those that would like a western medicine explanation of how acupuncture influences the body will be delighted reading these articles. If you are more into the energy "Qi" explanation you may find this information not inclusive, but informative none the less. Be careful, you may learn something ;-D
I could ramble on about acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and I probably will....but I also would like to share other things..... Positive things! There's so much bad news out there and that can negatively effect our health; mentally, emotionally,and physically. So let's lighten things up a bit over here!