What is sciatica?  It is pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, that can be caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often due to degeneration of an intervertebral disk.  Sciatica can occur at any age.  Sciatic pain is so prevalent, but can be easily corrected when treated in the early stages.  Some patients end up in emergency rooms hoping to get relief from this excruciating pain.  Unfortunately, typical medical or hospital treatments for pain are medications or injections.  Yet, acupuncture is not mentioned at all as an alternative treatment for sciatic pain.  Of course, when there is a structural issue, such as severe stenosis or disc herniations, acupuncture is not going to be the best option.  However, the important message is to treat the pain early and prevent the condition from further deterioration.

When it comes to pain, my experience is to treat it right away with acupuncture and the body will heal so much faster.  Acupuncture helps and enhances the body's natural healing capabilities, preventing the condition from worsening or even reoccurring in the future.  Patients usually show improvements in 2-3 weeks of treatments.  Acupuncture can help to reduce pain and inflammation locally, and also improve blood flow in the area that is experiencing pain.  

If you have been self-medicating as a form of pain management, maybe it's time to think about acupuncture as an alternative instead.  It doesn't hurt to try, and acupuncture doesn't make the condition worse, it can only help.  

~ Mei Lin Maunakea

Image Credit to Nicole De Kohrs

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