Sciatica refers to pain that radiates from the sciatic nerve, which is a nerve that begins at the lower back and runs down both legs. Sciatica-induced pain may occur in the lower back, buttocks, hip joint, thigh, knee joint, or calf. In most cases, the pain occurs in just one leg. Other sciatica symptoms are a pins-and-needles sensation running the length of the leg, numbness, and mobility problems due to muscle weakness.
Sciatica itself can be caused by several different issues, some of which can pose other, serious health problems. Pregnancy and muscle spasms can both cause sciatica, but don’t necessarily indicate any other health concerns. The condition can also be caused by lumbar spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and degenerative disc disease, which are all spinal conditions that require medical attention.
A recent study published in Health CMi showed that acupuncture and herbal medicine achieved a 95% total effective rate for relief of sciatica pain. In Chinese medicine the body is treated as a whole. No one part is separate from another and thus the diagnosis and treatment is on total body wellness. Identifying and correcting imbalances in the body addresses the root of the problem rather than just masking the symptoms. Acupuncture works to relax the muscles while releasing extra tension in the connective tissue. This will allow the body to reprogram and begin to heal itself. After the pain is gone, stretching is essential as it will help keep the muscles healthy and relaxed. The number of treatments needed will vary with each individual. Some factors that can determine the course of treatment include the type of condition, whether the condition is chronic or acute, and the vitality of the individual.
Dr. Bebe Chianni Lin works in conjunction with each of her patients to provide the very best individualized healthcare. Contact her office at the Center for Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine today for more information.
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