A common cause of chronic discomfort, sciatica, during its early stages, is often treatable with heat and ice, over-the-counter pain relievers, and rest (note: not bed rest, but a break from hard core physical activity). When do-it-yourself measures fail, the first thought is often to seek physical therapy, prescription medications and, in some cases, injections of the nerve itself.
With the rapidly growing field of complementary and alternative therapies, however, more and more sciatica sufferers are turning to holistic modalities to achieve long-term relief. One Zeel member asked: "Will acupuncture help my sciatica?" Zeel Expert Teresa Green eagerly responds.
I have treated many people for sciatica, and acupuncture can definitely help. In fact, I became an acupuncturist because of chronic low back and sciatic pain following a car accident. The relief I received from acupuncture inspired me to study Chinese medicine.
Expect six to 10 sessions at least once a week for optimal treatment. Sciatica sometimes responds immediately, but it is also common to have very little improvement until the fifth visit or later. Some people do not need maintenance after the initial pain has subsided; others find they must come in regularly to maintain the relief from pain. I highly recommend chiropractic and massage therapy along with acupuncture for this condition.
When researching acupuncturists, be sure you see a licensed acupuncturist (as opposed to a chiropractor or medical doctor doing acupuncture). If they do ear and Korean Hand Therapy in addition to regular acupuncture, that is a bonus, since I have found those kinds of treatments bring relief more quickly than acupuncture alone for many patients.