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Are you suffering from sciatica? Acupuncture can provide some relief

Get some relief from the debilitating pain caused by sciatica with the help of regular acupuncture sessions. Here's how it can help.

Written by Anuradha Varanasi |Updated : August 4, 2016 12:05 PM IST

Read this in Hindi.

Sciatica causes severe pain from the lower back to the back of each leg and patients tend to experience most pain while sitting. It is more commonly defined as a range of symptoms instead of a medical condition and the most common causes include a herniated disc, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. In 90% of cases, sciatica is caused by a herniated disc [1].

Patients describe the leg pain caused by sciatica as a tingling or burning sensation due to which they face difficulty in moving their affected leg, foot and even toes. These symptoms are caused when the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower back, gets pinched and depending on the severity, it could also be debilitating. Here s what you need to know about sciatica and who could be at risk.

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If you re struggling to deal with sciatica, one way of treating it naturally is to opt for acupuncture. This alternative treatment has been practiced for over 3000 years by the Chinese and studies have found that it is effective in providing relief from pain caused by sciatica [1].

A research paper published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2015 studied a total of 12 clinical studies that involved around 1842 participants. It was then concluded that acupuncture was actually more effective than conventional Western medicine in reducing pain intensity among patients suffering from sciatica [1].

The researchers also concluded that there are no side-effects of opting for acupuncture to reduce pain caused by sciatica. Conservative treatment mainly involves taking pain killers, epidural steroid injections, traction therapy, hot packs, and muscle relaxants other than surgical intervention.

However, in warming acupuncture where the needles are heated, patients reported getting relief after the first few sessions itself and saw improvement after completing more than 12 acupuncture sessions. Here are 10 facts you should know about acupuncture.

Reference

[1] Ji M, Wang X, Chen M, Shen Y, Zhang X, Yang J. The Efficacy of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM. 2015;2015:192808. doi:10.1155/2015/192808.

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