With the laundry list of side effects associated with prescription pain killers, it is no wonder why so many people are seeking alternative ways to treat pain. Although acupuncture is not as common as some of the other pain treatments, it has been practiced for hundreds of years and is considered effective for treating things like headaches, sciatic nerve pain, menstrual pain, back pain, neck pain and more.
Sciatic nerve pain involves pressure around the sciatic nerve and can send tremendous pain down the legs. Acupuncture is often misunderstood, and should not be ruled out by anyone suffering from sciatica. Let’s take a closer look at what acupuncture really is.
The theory behind acupuncture is that the body is completely interconnected. Similar to much of Chinese medicine, acupuncture encompasses treating the body as a whole, rather than treating just the individual parts. Small needles are placed into specific targets throughout the body. These needles are very thin and when administered properly, the pain is minimal. It truly looks more painful than it is. This practice helps the muscles of the body to relax and can relieve tension placed on the inflamed area. The primary foundation of acupuncture is that imbalances or blockages of chi can result in diseases, pain and other conditions. When the chi is balanced, the body will heal itself naturally.
For many people, acupuncture is not the ONLY treatment for sciatica. It is part of a well rounded treatment plan that includes massage therapy, stretching and exercises, etc.
In addition to acupuncture you can also consider electric stimulation. Similar pins are placed in the body and a small electric current is passed through the pins to stimulate the nerves. This may also sound a little scary but it sounds way worse than it is. If you feel like Chinese medicine is the right approach for you, visit an acupuncturists and let them show you the forms of acupuncture and acupressure. Then you can make an educated decision.
Sciatic nerve acupuncture is not a magical solution to your pain. It can provide you with some instant relief, but many people will need frequent visits to the acupuncturist to experience the long term benefits of this treatment. If your sciatic pain is severe, you can try other treatments first. NSAIDS or pain killers can help mask the pain temporarily. Just keep in mind this type of relief is only temporary and can come with major side effects.
So if acupuncture is so effective, why don’t more doctors prescribe this form of treatment? This is not the time or the place to discuss why doctors don’t tell patients about things like inversion therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, trigger point therapy, electric stimulation, etc. Let’s just say that there are literally dozens of effective treatments that you have not been made aware of.
Take it upon yourself to determine if acupuncture is right for you.