Can Acupuncture Help Sciatica?

You’ve been suffering with sciatica for years, and you don’t know what to do anymore. Sure, it’s possible that your sciatica could get better on its own after a few months of rest. But if you’re not willing to wait that long, there are some things you can try today.

How Effective Is Acupuncture For Sciatica?

Acupuncture is one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain caused by sciatica, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). In fact, acupuncture has been shown in multiple studies published in high-quality medical journals like “The New England Journal of Medicine” and “Archives of Internal Medicine,” to be as effective or more effective than mainstream treatments like physical therapy or prescription drugs.

That means fewer side effects than medication – which can include nausea and drowsiness – but similar results when it comes time for patients to rate their level of improvement.

Let’s Dive Into The Research Showing How Effective Acupuncture Is For Sciatica

A total of 11 randomized controlled trials were included. The results show that the use of acupuncture may be more effective than drugs and may enhance the effect of drugs for patients with sciatica.

To date, there has been more than enough research into the pain-eliminating and anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture. Several randomized controlled trials (the gold standard of science) have suggested that acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of sciatica.

The Standard Of Care For Sciatica Doesn’t Help Much

The treatment for sciatica is primarily aimed at pain control by avoiding epidural injections & surgery. There are a huge amount of side effects and complications to epidural injections (that go into your spinal canal) and to surgery and they don’t statistically work well for sciatica. Let’s not even talk about the ridiculous cost of these procedures.

The use of NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, Celebrex) has an uncertain effect on sciatica – this is research talk saying it doesn’t generally work even though it’s common to get prescribed or take these pills. They also have a large side effect profile – causing over 100,000 hospital visits per year for spontaneous stomach bleeding.

A Patient Story

Here’s a little insight into a patient we’ll call Bobby (not his real name) who I saw recently and who had severe sciatica.

Bobby was a very active person. He loved to go running, lifting weights and playing basketball with his friends in the neighborhood. One day he felt a sharp pain in his lower back that made it hard for him to walk or even stand up straight. His doctor prescribed pain pills but Bobby couldn’t take them because they gave him terrible side effects like not being able to sleep well at night and loss of appetite.

He tried everything from injections and muscle relaxers to chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy but nothing worked. So he continued searching for answers online until finally finding a site where people had success with Acupuncture for Sciatica. So he reached out to Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM licensed acupuncturist in Tampa, FL and came in for his first acupuncture treatment for sciatica.

He walked in for his first visit looking like a hobbling old man. When he came in for his second visit a week later he was walking pretty normal. His pain levels were 30% better and he was able to drive for longer periods of time without severe pain. He told me that he had been to every orthopedic doctor in the Tampa Bay area and no one had helped him as much as acupuncture did for his sciatic pain.

You see acupuncture works to normalize abnormal nerve function, relaxes tight muscles and reduces pain. It also stimulates the release of endorphins in your body which reduce pain and make you feel happier.

When it comes to treating sciatica, acupuncture is an amazing tool because we can provide a non-painful stimulus directly to your sciatica nerve and essentially reset how it’s functioning. There’s no other treatment like this – and Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM has a unique set of skills that have allowed him in specializing in the treatment of sciatica pain in Tampa, FL.

The Next Step

If you’re experiencing sciatica and feel like you’ve tried everything – give acupuncture a try by clicking the button below to schedule your visit with Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM in Tampa, FL.

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