January 24, 2016

Sciatica & Acupuncture

Sciatica is a painful condition with a related distress and impairment that can range from mild to severe. It is believed to be caused by nerve inflammation and impingement and can cause pain in the lower back, hip, leg and foot. The pain can vary–from cauda-equina-spinal-nervesachiness to shooting pain. It can feel like muscle cramps that won’t relent. It can also be sharp pain that causes standing, sitting and walking to be extremely difficult. Other symptoms can include tingling, weakness, numbness or burning sensations–particularly down the leg and even into the foot and toes. Sciatica usually manifests on one side of the body.spinal-nerve-distribution-s

Acupuncture can be very effective in relieving sciatic pain. It has proven beneficial for inflammation of all types and for back pain. Research into the use of acupuncture for sciatic pain indicates that a “mechanism of action of acupuncture… could be that, in addition to its influence on the pain inhibitory system, it participates in causing a transient change in sciatic nerve blood blow, including circulation to the cauda equine and nerve root”. (1)

(1) Inoue M1, Kitakoji H, Yano T, Ishizaki N, Itoi M, Katsumi Y. Acupuncture Treatment for Low Back Pain and Lower Limb Symptoms-The Relation between Acupuncture or Electroacupuncture Stimulation and Sciatic Nerve Blood Flow. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 5 (2008), Issue 2, Pages 133-143.

If you have sciatic pain, Jeffrey Russell can discuss acupuncture treatment with you. He practices Chinese Medicine and acupuncture in Louisville, KY. You can read about his clinic, Abacus Chinese Medicine, and his integrated system of care approach here. You can also reach him at 502 299-8900.