Acupuncture has been used for centuries as a chronic pain treatment, and often as a sciatica pain treatment. According to wikipedia, acupuncture is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by the flow of an energy-like entity called qi. Acupuncture aims to correct imbalances in the flow of qi by stimulation of anatomical locations on or under the skin called acupuncture points, most of which are connected by channels known as meridians. Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of ailments, but is foound especially helpful in the treatment of chronic pain.
Acupuncture is believed to decrease pain by increasing the release of chemicals that block pain, called endorphins. Many acu-points are near nerves. When stimulated, these nerves cause a dull ache or feeling of fullness in the muscle. The stimulated muscle sends a message to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), causing the release of endorphins (morphine-like chemicals produced in our own bodies during times of pain or stress). Endorphins, along with other neurotransmitters, block the message of pain from being delivered up to the brain.
Although acupuncture is not a cure for sciatica pain, it is very effective in treating several diseases and conditions. Acupuncture is most effective at treating chronic pain, such as headaches; menstrual cramps; and low back (sciatica pain), neck, or muscle pain. It can also be used to treat arthritis, facial pain, pain from shingles, and spastic colon and colitis conditions. Acupuncture has also been successful in treating obesity and addictions such as nicotine or drugs. Acupuncture also can improve the functioning of the immune system!
If you are suffering from sciatica pain, what’s stopping you from trying acupuncture as a sciatica pain treatment? There are many acupuncturists that are now offering a sliding fee scale for low income households – and quite frankly the fees are minimal compared to traditional medicine!