If you have ever had sciatica, you know how painful it can be. The pain can be unrelenting and persist for a long time.
The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down the back of the thigh. It then branches into two nerves that run down the back and side of the calf. That’s why some people with sciatica have pain that runs all the way down the leg to the toes.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Pressure causes the nerve to become inflamed, which is why you feel pain.
If the lower lumbar vertebrae in the back are affected, they may compress the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the low back all the way down the leg.
The sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle, which is near the hip joint. If this muscle compresses the sciatic nerve, you will also feel pain down your leg, starting near the hip.
The pain can vary in intensity from mild to severe. It can be tingling or stabbing or shooting. Usually only one side is affected.
Sciatica is another condition for which conventional medicine has little to offer besides painkillers.
Sciatica from too much sitting
Some people get sciatica from sitting too much. Our bodies are not designed to sit all the time. Sitting too much causes all kinds of health problems, from poor circulation to obesity. It also affects our immune and digestive systems.
Sciatica can also be caused by poor posture while sitting. If you slouch when you sit, you’re more likely to develop sciatica. If you have sciatica, check your posture first. If you slouch, start sitting up straight so that your back is an S shape rather than a C shape. If that doesn’t help, try massage or contrast hot and cold applications to improve circulation. If all else fails, try acupuncture.
Acupuncture for sciatica
Acupuncture is a very effective treatment for sciatica. Acupuncture can help to relax muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve, and so relieve pressure and pain. Acupuncture also helps to relieve inflammation. Combined with lifestyle changes such as more exercise and improved posture, acupuncture can prevent sciatica from reoccurring.
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