Sciatica could be caused by various reasons. It is commonly a result of a intervertebral disk herniation causing a nerve compression in the low back spine. This intervertebral disk is a gel-like cushion that provides shock absorption and flexibility between the vertebrae in the spine. As a person ages, these gel-like cushion disks get worn out and weaker, and will be more vulnerable and susceptible to get injuries causing the nerve compression such as one in the sciatica condition. This compression causes pain, inflammation and sometimes numbness in the affected side. Another reason of sciatica includes the spinal stenosis in which the spinal canal inside the vertebrae gets narrowed and adds pressure to the nerves that pass through this canal. Once this canal is narrowed, symptoms such as sciatica may happen. Spinal canal narrowing conditions are usually more common in elderly people. Other causes of sciatica include piriformis syndrome, spinal tumors or injuries, and pregnant women adding pressure on the sciatic nerve during pregnancy.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture treatment has been proved through controlled trials to be effective for treating sciatica. Back pain has been reportedly ranked No. 1 reason for people seeking acupuncture treatment. Another report by the National Institute of Health shows and concludes that acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of sciatica (see report here). In addition, recommendations have been made along with guidelines from the American Pain Society and American College of Physicians that doctors should consider acupuncture as an alternative therapy for patients with chronic low back pain that conventional treatment cannot provide results (see report here). If you need acupuncture treatment and would like to discuss how acupuncture can help relieve your low back pain and sciatica, please feel free to contact me.
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