Sciatica is not a diagnosis in itself, but a combination of symptoms that refers to the pain caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. It can be caused by a number of conditions, such as; spinal stenosis(narrowing of the spinal canal), lumbar herniated disc, spondylolisthesis or piriformis syndrome. When the sciatic nerve becomes compressed, it becomes inflamed and pain and numbness from the buttocks area, typically going down the leg along the sciatic nerve pathway appears. Pain is usually one-sided. Sciatica also commonly occurs during pregnancy. The pain can range from a deep ache to a sharp stabbing pain; numbness and weakness of the area can also occur.
How acupuncture helps sciatica:
- It reduces the inflammation of the sciatic nerve
- It stimulates the release of endorphins to reduce local pain
- It increases micro-circulation helping to improve mobility
- It has a positive effect on the sciatic nerve blood flow
- It reduces neuropathic pain
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