Acupuncture in the treatment of sciatica
Acupuncture as one of very effective methods of traditional medicine is at the forefront of therapies that are the elite in the fight against pain.
Thanks stimulated pressure on the points of the body where the nerve endings of the organs are located can influence their function. Thanks to this, acupuncture does not have side effects like pharmaceuticals that destroy the liver or stomach.
Pain is a feeling that each of us knows it a signal from our brain that something is wrong with the body. There are different types of pain, including those that are easy to endure, as well as the stronger ones that are extremely annoying. One of such severe pains is the one that accompanies sciatica.
Its source “knocks out” as a result of compression of the sciatic nerve coming out of the minor pelvis running along the posterior tissue of the leg. In a word it pressure on the very sensitive spinal nerves L4, L5 or S1 (called the sciatic nerve – it is the largest and most sensitive nerve in the human body).
Sciatica is one of the most common forms of pain conglomeration of the spine-lumbar region . If it is not treated, it can lead to very pathological changes in the locomotor system, and the pain may last from several weeks to even many years. The later we start treating sciatica, the more expensive, longer, more painful the treatment process will be, with more side effects and less effectiveness .
Sciatica is a very common condition. About 40% of people in Poland experience sciatica in their lifetime , and back pain is the third most common reason people visit their doctor.
The most common causes of compression pain in sciatica
The most common causes of rushing pain radiating from the buttock down the leg to the foot are L4 / L5, L5 / S1 pressure, which can be caused by:
- discopathy of the spine in which the sciatic nerve runs,
- local inflammation irritating the nervous system,
- infectious diseases, e.g. diabetes,
- neoplastic changes,
- incorrect posture when lifting a heavy object (on straight legs),
- hernia of the nucleus pulposus,
- pregnancy (with increased pressure and hip alignment can cause sciatic pain),
- pelvic problems in women (unequal lower limbs),
- fracture of the vertebrae of the spine ( causes misalignment of the spine and may affect the sciatic nerve ),
- narrowing of the spine (with a narrowing of the spinal canal can cause nerve compression)
- reduced cushioning between the vertebrae of the spine
- problems with the lumbar disc – degeneration, hernia
- sciatic endometriosis
How To Identify Sciatica?
It is a sudden, sharp pain in the lumbar region , most often it radiates to the buttock or back of the thigh, to the calf or foot. It is usually accompanied by a feeling of muscle weakness and numbness in the area of the body where the sciatic nerves run.
Sometimes the pains are so intense that the patient lies down in a lying position looking for relief in the relaxation of the lumbar region. There may be sensory disturbances in various parts of the legs .
Acupuncture is great at finding the source of pain and alleviating it. And it is very important to recognize where the source of the problem is, which is compressing the nerve causing severe pain. At the beginning, the doctor finds vital points on the patient’s body that are responsible for the energy flow in the lumbar region. Then he sticks thin micro needles into them, stimulating the nervous system to heal itself. Thanks to acupuncture, this severe pain can be quickly relieved, bringing the patient to relief in suffering .
Unfortunately, pain rules the human microcosm, it can overwhelm it like the greatest dictator and effectively take away the will to live. That is why methods of overcoming it effectively and quickly are so important. Acupuncture reigns supreme among these methods, it is one of the best therapies in the world that can effectively deal with the source of suffering .
Why bother when you can reach for safe and cheap acupuncture.
How To Identify Sciatica? | Symptoms of Sula River
First feelings about sciatica can be very different. This usually occurs as a result of some great physical effort, or not necessarily when picking up an object from the ground inappropriately. The body then signals that something is wrong and it is usually presented in the form of sudden pain in the lower part of the spine, lumbar region, which is often associated with temporary or longer immobilization (muscle stiffness). Then we have the impression that we cannot move because something will happen. Usually, the resulting pain that accompanies this circumstance radiates to the leg, to the thigh from the back, through the calf to the foot. The vast majority of patients report that while picking up their purchases on straight legs with a twist of the torso, they felt a sudden “squawk and pain” in the lower part of the spine.
Sciatica is also a common ailment of professional athletes, Olympians and people professionally practicing sports such as: all strength sports: weightlifting, distance running and mountain climbing. Among these groups, the most common are other types of tear, which we will write about later in this article.
While in the case of young people, sciatica is extremely rare, and even when there is pain in the back, lower back, leg, calves and the foot, and the resulting discomfort – it can be overcome arbitrarily by the young body, in the case of older people it may not be. to be so colorful.
Older people are more susceptible to weather conditions and any sudden change may be negatively perceived by the body for them, which is very often manifested in the form of a sudden attack of pain, the so-called sciatica attack.
An attack of sciatica is a sudden, dull and stabbing pain that makes it impossible to move, which is characterized by a rather long duration (up to 1 hour) and accompanying sensations such as “sticking needles into the thigh, calf, foot or toes”, “tingling in the limbs”, “strange dull uncomfortable pain. Quite often it is accompanied by the effect of temporarily immobilizing the body for fear that something bad will happen.
Soul Rwa | Potentiating Factors
Risk factors for sciatica include:
- Age . Age-related changes in the spine, such as herniated discs and bone spurs, are the most common causes of sciatica.
- Obesity . By increasing the load on the spine, being overweight can contribute to the changes in the spine that trigger sciatica.
- Occupation . Work that requires you to twist your back, carry heavy objects, or drive long periods of time may play a role in sciatica, but there is no conclusive evidence for this.
- Long-term sitting . People who sit for long periods or lead a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop sciatica than physically active people.
- Diabetes mellitus . This disease, which affects the way your body uses blood sugar, increases the risk of nerve damage.
- Bad diet . Eating a large amount of highly processed products containing preservatives and leavening agents as well as the so-called fast food, energy drinks and chemical supplements.
How To Identify Sciatica? | When to call an ambulance?
Sciatica is not a medical condition that usually kills the patient . However, it should be borne in mind that some signs of sciatica may indicate internal pathologies of the body when an ambulance call may be justified and may endanger the patient’s safety. Such situations are:
- the patient’s old age and after administration of analgesics, the pain does not stop, the mobility of the locomotor organs does not improve, and the patient begins to experience the effects of trembling legs combined with pain and numbness in the limbs.
- after administration of an epidural injection , the patient experiences headaches and dizziness with inflammation in the area of injection soon or immediately after the injection. Additionally, the patient does not feel that the painkillers are working. It also proves that the procedure was carried out incorrectly.
- if the patient experiences side effects described in the label of the medicinal product or groups of these effects after conventional treatment .
- if the pain persists for more than a week and gets worse after conventional treatment.
- if the sciatica was caused by a traffic accident and any of the effects described above are present.
- if you have trouble controlling your bladder or have sudden uncontrolled bowel movements (diarrhea).
In each of the above points, contacting your doctor must be seriously considered. Neglecting or downplaying the tine can have very unpleasant consequences.
Soul Rwa | Prevention
Sciatica cannot always be prevented, and once it is healed it may reappear. A strong back is a key factor in preventing sciatica. Because:
Exercise regularly to keep your back strong. Pay particular attention to the torso, abdominal, and lower back muscles which are essential for maintaining proper posture and body alignment. Ask your doctor for recommendations on specific activities and exercises you can do.
Maintain the correct posture while sitting . Choose a chair with good lower back support, armrests, and a swivel base. Consider placing a pillow or a rolled up towel on your lower back to keep the curvature normal. Keep your knees and hips level.
Use correct body mechanics . If you are standing for a long time, rest one foot on a stool or a small box from time to time. When you lift something heavy, let your lower limbs do the work. Move straight up and down. Keep your back straight and bend only at the knees. Keep your weight close to your body. Avoid lifting and twisting at the same time. Find a lifting partner if the item is heavy or uncomfortable.
Do not lift heavy objects – it is important that you refrain from lifting heavy objects from the ground. When you have to do such work, help yourself with a trolley or with the support of third parties.
Soul Rwa | Conventional Diagnostics and Treatment
Sciatica diagnosis is not difficult . Both the doctor of conventional medicine and the doctor of traditional medicine make such diagnoses without errors . Everything is based on a physical examination .
During a physical exam, your doctor may check your muscle strength and reflexes . For example, you may be asked to walk on your toes or heels, get up from a crouch position, and, lying on your back, raise your legs one at a time. The pain of sciatica usually gets worse with these activities.
For final confirmation after a physical examination, your doctor may order an imaging test . The therapist usually prescribes such activities when the pain associated with the rhinitis is very strong and it is probable that it will not go away on its own.
Many people have herniated discs or bone spurs that show up on x-rays and other imaging tests, but do not show any symptoms. That’s why doctors don’t usually order these tests unless the pain is severe or doesn’t go away within a few weeks.
- X-ray image . An X-ray of the spine can reveal a bone overgrowth (bone spur) that can pinch a nerve.
- MRI . This procedure uses a strong magnet and radio waves to obtain cross-sectional images of the spine. Magnetic resonance imaging gives detailed images of bones and soft tissues such as a herniated intervertebral disc. During the examination, you lie on a table that moves towards the MRI machine.
- Computed tomography . When computed tomography is used for spine imaging, a contrast dye may be injected into the spinal canal before X-rays are taken – a procedure called a CT myelogram. This dye circulates around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, which are white in the photo.
- Electromyography (EMG) . This test measures the electrical impulses produced by the nerves and the muscle response. This test can confirm nerve compression caused by a herniated disc or a narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).
Conventional treatment for sciatica involves several procedures and begins when the sciatica does not clear up by itself. It is generally assumed that the light and moderate state should pass by itself up to a week of time. When this is not done, the condition is presumed to be serious and appropriate treatment is started which may include:
The types of medications that may be prescribed for sciatica pain include: anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, drugs / opiates, tricyclic antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.
Once your acute pain has subsided, your doctor or physical therapist can develop a rehabilitation program to help prevent future injuries. It usually includes exercises to correct your posture, strengthen the muscles that support your back, and improve flexibility.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend injecting a corticosteroid into the area of the damaged nerve root. Corticosteroids help reduce pain by dampening the inflammation around the irritated nerve. The effects usually wear off after a few months. The number of steroid injections you can receive is limited as the risk of serious side effects increases when the injections are given too often . Steroid injections relieve pain but do not eliminate the source of the problem. If we are dealing with mild or moderate sciatica, the pain should pass by itself up to a week.
This option is usually reserved for cases where the pinched nerve causes significant weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or when pain gradually worsens or does not improve with other treatments. Surgeons can remove the bone spur or part of the herniated disc that presses on the pinched nerve. You have to take into account a number of side effects of such interference with the body .
Soul Rwa | Home Treatment Support
Sciatica can be helped to treat at home. The recommended daytime rest may provide some relief, but prolonged inactivity will only worsen symptoms.
Other care treatments that can help help heal a tear at home include:
- Cold compresses . Initially, some relief may come from applying a cold compress to the painful area for up to 20 minutes several times a day. Use an ice pack or a pack of frozen peas wrapped in a clean towel.
- Hot compresses . After two to three days, apply heat to the areas that hurt. Use hot compresses, a heat lamp, or a heating pad on the lowest setting. If you still feel pain, try alternating warm and cold compresses.
- Stretching . Lower back stretches can help you feel better and relieve pressure on your nerve roots. Avoid jerking, bouncing, or twisting when stretching, and try to hold this position for at least 30 seconds.
- Over-the -counter drugs . Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) are sometimes helpful for sciatica.
- Sleep and how to sleep? It is best to choose firm mattresses that prevent twisting of the spine. The sleeping position should be supine: a) with a pillow under the knees b) with legs on a hard material c) on the side with legs bent at the knees.
The pain of sciatica can intensify at times of even the slightest muscle tension. During this time, try to avoid sudden movements, twisting your spine, bending down and … sneezing, because it can cause a really sharp pain. The symptoms may also worsen when coughing and laughing.
Remember also a few rules that will allow you to significantly reduce back pain (they also need to be used after the symptoms of rhinitis have subsided):
- Don’t bend down, just crouch.
- Don’t twist your spine.
- Do not lift heavy objects.
- Change positions while sitting and standing.
- When you get up from lying down, always sit down first – don’t get up right away.
- Always try to distribute your body weight evenly.
- Sleep on a firm mattress or even on the floor.
Cold compresses will help in the initial stage of pain. The action of heat, compresses and warming ointments will be effective only a little later.
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Soul Rva | Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine
Both acupuncture and traditional medicine are already a widely recognized medical system on a par with conventional medicine (WHO 2019). Since then, it cannot be said that these are non-scientific methods. All the diseases indicated for treatment with acupuncture and broadly understood traditional medicine are described in the WHO Report and Indications for Treatment with these methods.
Sciatica, one of the pain diseases, is high on this list, and there are also many scientific studies that clearly state that this method is effective in the treatment of moderate and mild pharyngitis (95% of all cases of cervical rhinitis).
What methods do traditional medicine and acupuncture use to treat sciatica:
Acupuncture – a practically painless procedure consisting in placing a certain number of needles (5-30) in the patient’s body for a specified period of time in acupuncture points according to specific treatment procedures. As of today, there are about 20 patterns and combinations of points, which are used depending on the type of tear and its genesis. Very often, the doctor uses the bladder points (UB30) as the standard point located below the buttock and the point (UD40) in the center of the hamstring, between the tendons and points between the Achilles tendon and the ankle. In acupuncture for sciatica, the doctor may ask you to expose areas not necessarily related to pain, such as the back, spine or lower buttock. Very often, he will ask you to provide a foot, hand or even head – everything depends on the diagnostic indications during the First Medical Visit.
Before starting acupuncture treatments, an acupuncturist determines the focus of pain. This is the only situation when the patient may feel a slight pain, because the therapist, usually by touching the tips of the index fingers, identifies the places of greatest pain. This is where the needles will be inserted later. With the needles placed in this way, lie down for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the recommendations.
How many acupuncture treatments are recommended for sciatica treatment?
During each acupuncture therapy, the number of treatments is determined during the First Visit. As a rule, the doctor recommends 5-15 treatments. The more severe sciatica is, the greater the number of treatments. The frequency of treatments does not change . Depending on the diagnosis, acupuncture treatments should be performed daily or every other day. Prophylactically, when episodes cease, general procedures can be performed, taking into account specific points supporting the treatment of episodes.
When to expect the first results of sciatica treatment?
In the treatment of acupuncture with acupuncture, the first effects should be noticeable after the first treatment and immediately after it. Acupuncture affects the body the most in the first week of use, but its healing effects are scientifically documented up to 6 months after the end of the last series of treatments (cycle closure). Most patients report that after 3-4 treatments they feel a positive change in pain intensity or the pain disappears completely. Further treatments are recommended but not required. It is good, however, when the patient completes the cycle and follows the post-treatment recommendations described above in the article.
Acupuncture is mainly used in mild to moderate sciatica pains. In a severe condition, it is required to combine all available treatment methods and to consider the need for surgical intervention (5% of all tears).
Functional benefits of using acupuncture to treat sciatica :
No side effects (the procedure has no side effects)
Quick pain relief (the patient should feel a visible relief after the first treatment, allowing them to move freely. If the pain persists after the first treatment and you do not see any improvement, you need to implement home treatment support at this stage (described above in the article). The patient should also arrange the help of a third person in connection with traveling to our office.
The treatment effect is permanent – if acupuncture is positive for pain, it means that it is mild or moderate. The therapeutic effect should remain permanently provided the entire cycle of treatments prescribed by the therapist is completed. The characteristic feature of Rwa is that it may come back periodically if the causative pathogens in life have not been eliminated. It is important for the patient to avoid cooling down the body or consuming cold drinks. Recommendations for implementation after the cure has healed are above in the article.
Supporting the whole organism – acupuncture is a holistic medical system that means it heals the whole organism, not only the symptoms. The patient can support his health and the functioning of internal organs through these treatments, and not only related to sciatica. Some of the acupuncture points usually used in basic regimens for the treatment of rhinitis are used in the treatment of other internal organs and have a similar positive effect on them.
Elektorakupunktura – acupuncture treatments involving the additional passing of low current values (safe for humans) through needles connected to special clamps in order to intensify specific therapeutic effects.
Electroacupuncture is very often used in the acute course of sciatica , when the patient is waiting for surgery or epidural injections. Elektorakupunktura can be used during therapy with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs because its effect is enhanced by the action of electricity.
Electroacupuncture can only be used by experienced acupuncturists ! It is not a method for people after acupuncture courses because it can harm, not help.
Heat therapy – a very frequently used treatment supporting both traditional acupuncture and electroacupuncture, consisting in local heating of specific places on the body with special SOLLUX lamps (often places where needles are placed or pain focuses).
SOLLUX lamps are special lamps designed for acupuncture treatments. They are used in certain ailments. It is not always advisable to use them. Your acupuncturist should know when, for how long and for what conditions they can be used.
The SOLLUX lamp has a special volcanic plate, the heat emission values of which significantly exceed those obtained by heating the stone, thanks to which the heat generated in this way reaches deeper – to the deeper layers of the skin and stays there for longer.
Moksa – belonging to the field of Heat Therapy, a separate healing therapy straight from Chinese monasteries, consisting in heating the affected areas with a specially prepared “cigar” from the so-called “Chinese wormwood” that is a mixture of herbs (5-8 kinds) in order to obtain a specific therapeutic effect. You can read more about moxa and moxa treatments in our article on moxa .
TCM herbal medicine – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a compendium of knowledge on the natural treatment of various diseases using herbs and natural products. For millennia in China, the effects of herbs on organisms have been observed. All this has been written down in great detail, and this knowledge is now passed on to the society by Traditional Medicine Doctors. In the treatment of sciatica, the doctor of traditional medicine may recommend the use of certain herbs or herbal mixtures that are designed to increase the effect of the therapy. The advantage of TCM herbalism is its effectiveness and safety, and a very small range of side effects. Any undesirable reactions of the organism can occur with an experienced doctor only if the patient conceals certain ailments and diseases. Good TCM doctors always support themselves with the traditional pulse examination, and even if the patient may not know their hidden ailments, the doctor has a good chance of reading it on the basis of the pulse analysis. Pulse analysis is a traditional Eastern practitioner skill normally taught at Eastern Medical Academies.
Soul Rwa | What To Do After Treatment
Surgical treatment in the vast majority of patients with acute sciatica causes complete relief of root pain immediately after the surgery. In the remaining patients, the symptoms of sciatica are significantly reduced after the procedure, thanks to the elimination of pressure on the nerve roots. In some patients, sensory disturbances in the form of tingling or numbness may persist immediately after the procedure, in the location characteristic of receding sciatica.
The situation is slightly different in chronic back pain syndromes, where surgical treatment is much less effective. It should be remembered that the operation reduces the tightness in the spinal canal and in certain cases stabilizes the vertebral bodies, but does not affect the degenerative process of the intervertebral discs and the entire spine. Low back pain may come not only from the pressure on the nerve roots, but also from many other reasons that are not affected by discectomy surgery, therefore improvement after surgery is not observed in all cases.
Statistically, approximately 60% of patients operated on due to a hernia of the nucleus pulposus return to their previous work within a year from the operation, while approx. 25% require a job change. Just OK. 15% are unable to work due to persistent back pain syndrome.
After surgery, further rehabilitation is needed to reduce the risk of recurrent hernia. In the period of 2 years after the surgery, about 10% of the operated patients develop recurrent hernia of the nucleus pulposus.
The essence of degenerative spine disease is periodic worsening and relief (remission) of pain symptoms, therefore the patient should constantly and systematically continue active rehabilitation (aerobic exercises, strengthening the abdominal and paraspinal muscles, stretching exercises, etc.). It is necessary to follow the basic rules concerning the proper loading of the spine and avoiding positions that pose a risk of repeated damage to the intervertebral disc.
After surgery treatment is completed, it is not necessary to perform routine checkups, if pain symptoms do not recur or are limited and do not suggest recurrent testicular hernia.
The above description concerns only the acute course of sciatica and its “healing”. Regarding the frequency of light and medium sciatica, it is approx. In 95% of all cases, the situation is very similar. If the patient uses prophylactic acupuncture treatments, the problem of sciatica practically does not come back.
Determining the factors that influenced its formation is very important in preventing the occurrence of subsequent seizures. If we eliminate these pathogens and apply prophylactics, we can be sure that the disease will not come back.
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Trust nature, it she ensured the survival of our species and offers us all the ingredients necessary for life and health.
You just have to reach for them, extract them from the crowd of “poisons of modern pharmacy”. Traditional medicine heals diseases from time immemorial, effectively and without side effects .
That is why we want to emphasize these wonderful, miraculous power of nature and herbs. Give up pharmacology and trust nature .
Remember that “reptilian sellers” in the media of the “main sewer” called “experts” are actually uneducated and handicapped individuals envying you for knowledge and open minds . They want you to swallow their pulp and make your audience more popular.
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