Low Back Pain and Sciatica

One of the longest nerves in the body is called the sciatic nerve.  It starts in the lower area of the back and runs down into the hip, buttock and to the foot.  Being the largest and longest nerve in the body it’s easily susceptible to irritation, and that irritation often originates from strain or damage to the back.

Because of the complex spinal cord and diffusion of nerve endings in the low back, this major nerve may become irritated at the root or base area in the low back, the pain will manifest anywhere along its length, including the low back, hip or in areas of the leg.

Pain in the back can originate from injury, over-use and even nervous system stress, muscle spasm and disc injury like from trauma and injury after car accidents will cause an injury and pain in the rea.

Acupuncture supports pain relief in the inflammation by sending blood and oxygen to the area, relaxing the muscles which cause the sciatic nerve to become inflamed.  By increasing circulation in the area, relaxation of the muscles and nerves stops the pain signal to the brain.  Another way to reduce this pain sensation is to create stretching and movements like tai-chi and qi-gong which help to facilitate the flow of qi or vital life energy (blood and oxygenation of the tissue.)

Most commonly the symptoms of sciatica manifest upon over use.  It causes sensations like painful back or leg movement or specifically a burning painful sensation in the leg.  Tingling in the leg is also common.  Pain may be better or worse with sitting or movement and shooting pains may run down the side or back of the leg accompanied by weakness and numbness. Usually a series of acupuncture sessions will alleviate the symptoms.  As well, each session includes stretching and strengthening movements like Tai-Chi and Qi-Gong to improve treatment success.

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