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Sciatica: Causes, Symptoms, and How Acupuncture Can Provide Relief

If you’ve ever had sciatica, you know the pain! So, what is sciatica and why does it hurt so much? Sciatica is a medical condition that causes radiating pain, from the sciatic nerve, to the lower back down through the hips, buttocks, and legs. When I say radiating pain, I’m talking about the kind of pain that travels. In this case, that radiating pain is caused by the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. And I’m here to tell you that at Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center, I can help you with this type of issue. I’ll explain that more below, but to put it simply, acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body; this stimulates energy flow and promotes the healing of sciatica. In this article we’re going to talk about sciatica, its causes, symptoms, and how acupuncture can provide relief. Let’s get into it. 

sciatica pain relief with acupuncture
Elderly people with lower back pain

What are the Causes of Sciatica? 

Now, let’s talk about some of the reasons this painful issue crops up. Keep in mind, it can be caused by a variety of different things, but some of these reasons are more common than others. 

  • Herniated Disc: This happens when a disc in the spine ruptures, thereby putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is one of the most common causes of sciatica. 
  • Spinal Stenosis: This is a narrowing of the spinal canal and it can cause compression of the sciatic nerve. This is another common reason for it. 
  • Piriformis Syndrome: This happens when the piriformis muscle, located in the buttocks, spasms and therefore irritates the sciatic nerve. 
  • Spinal Tumors: This is rare, but tumors can develop along the spine. When this happens it compresses the sciatic nerve and causes radiating sciatic pain. . 
  • Trauma: Trauma and injury to the buttocks and lower back may cause sciatica for some. Trauma can happen for a variety of reasons: falls, slips, getting hit or kicked, etc. 
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Just like the rest of our bodies, the discs in our backs between the vertebrates age. When this happens we lose flexibility and cushioning. This can also cause sciatica. 

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

If you’ve ever dealt with sciatica, you’ll know each and every one of these symptoms. Let’s go through them. 

  • Sharp pain that travels from the lower back to the buttocks and then down the back of the leg (sciatic pain) 
  • Numbness in the leg or foot (it’s a really odd, numb feeling) 
  • Weakness 
  • Pain that gets worse when you sit or stand for long periods 
  • Trouble walking or standing (due to leg pain, buttocks pain, or foot pain) 
  • A fierce tingling sensation that travels down the leg (some describe it as a burning sensation)
sciatica pain relief with acupuncture in raleigh
Lumbar spine displaced herniated disc fragment, spinal nerve and bone. Model for treatment medical in the orthopedic department.

How Can Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center Help?

At Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center, I can help you with your painful sciatica symptoms using acupuncture and other hand techniques that are tailored to target the root causes of your pain. My approach is to stimulate specific acupuncture points on the body in order to rebalance the flow of energy and facilitate natural healing. That’s the way acupuncture works. For people with sciatica, my  treatments offer the following sciatica-relieving benefits:

  • Pain Relief: It’s pretty well known that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain-relievers. So, we use this to reduce sciatica-associated pain. But acupuncture does so much more than that so keep reading! 
  • Inflammation Reduction: One of the best things a person can do for pain is to incorporate acupuncture into their overall life schedule. When you come in for regular acupuncture sessions, one of the first things you’ll begin to feel is less inflamed. I will use acupuncture to decrease your inflammation around the sciatic nerve. This eases pain and discomfort for you. 
  • Muscle Relaxation: I will target specific muscles, like the piriformis muscle, to alleviate tension and spasms that contribute to sciatic nerve compression.
  • Nerve Stimulation: Acupuncture is great for your nerves. Did you know that acupuncture can promote nerve regeneration? That’s right! This will help the body’s natural healing process and will help with sciatic pain. 
  • Stress Reduction: Stress and tension make pain feel worse. We call that “pain perception” or, in other words, the perception we have of our pain. With acupuncture’s relaxing effects, we can effectively manage stress and improve your overall well-being. For sciatica sufferers, this is very important and it shouldn’t be overlooked. 
sciatica pain relief with acupuncture treatment
Unhappy caucasian man, dressed in casual wear, sitting on sofa in living room, experiencing acute pain in the back, lower back, has chronic joint problems. Problems with the back, spine, sciatica

Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center for Sciatica 

In conclusion, sciatica can be a big problem for just about anyone. If you are feeling lots of pain and irritation from sciatica, remember that you don’t have to just “deal with” the pain. Instead, do something about it! At Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center, my aim is to support you in managing your sciatica pain and to provide you with exceptional acupuncture care. I use acupuncture and other related therapies to get you into great shape. After a few sessions I want you to feel so good that you tell all of your family and friends about us! 

Experience the Acupuncture Difference in Raleigh 

So, what sets us apart? At Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center, we think differently than your average Doctors, physical therapists and chiropractic clinics! Most healthcare professionals are trained to focus on the symptoms and the site of pain, but never ask the question, where is the dysfunction that is allowing these symptoms to appear in the first place? This is the guiding principle of treatment in how I practice Chinese medicine and this is what separates what I do from all your other treatment options.

At Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center we piece the parts of your story together using a unique assessment that looks at your body as one. Now, let me take you through my specialized method. This is the method I use to make sure that anyone who comes into see me is getting the absolute BEST care. Let’s get into it. 

using acupuncture to relieve sciatica injury
Sciatica nerve pain. Woman with pain in lower back.

What You Can Expect at Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center

  • Discussion: We start with a simple and straightforward conversation, delving into the root cause of your issues. My goal is to understand what’s going on with your body and how we can fix it. 
  • Assessment: My assessment process uncovers any underlying dysfunctions, revealing why you may be experiencing sciatic pain. As we learned above, sciatic pain has a few root causes. 
  • Treatment: Using a combination of acupuncture and other hands-on techniques, we alleviate your symptoms and enhance your body’s functionality. My goal is always rapid relief! 
  • Freedom: Treatments continue as needed. As you progress, we can also tailor your rehabilitation to focus on anything else that’s bothering you. 

Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center for all of your Sciatica Pain

Hi, I’m Jim Eleczko, the founder of Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center and it’s my mission to provide you with compassionate, whole-person care using holistic treatments, including Acupuncture, Dry Needling, and Tunia Massage. I’m a board-certified and licensed Acupuncturist practicing since 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina. I love that I get to wake up every day to make meaningful changes in my patient’s lives. I’ve seen first hand the changes that Acupuncture can make. 

As a teen I suffered from allergies and my father suggested that I try Acupuncture to calm the symptoms. It worked – and left a lasting impression on me! Now I offer Acupuncture and other treatments to help people with a variety of issues, including anxiety, migraines, fibromyalgia, and more. Our other treatments include Dry Needling, Guasha, Cupping, Stretching, Orthopedic Movements, Electroacupuncture and Therapeutic Exercises. 

Here’s a bit more about me and my qualifications: I studied the 4-year program at Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine and continue to travel multiple times a year to study with my mentor, Andrew Nugent-Head. I also studied under Dr. Ed Garbacz, M.D. LAc and spent a year working and studying under Dr. Bonnie Walker, M.D. LAc. I have also done extensive post-graduate studies in acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine from lectures of acupuncturists like Dr. Nguyen Van Nghi, Dr. Tran Viet Dzung, Matt Callison, and Edward Obaidey