Dublin based
Acupuncture & Shiatsu



June 7th, 2011 | Posted in 2 Pain, Injuries, Sports

Sciatica is pain felt down the back and outer side of the thigh, leg and foot. It is usually caused by degeneration of an intervertebral disc, which protrudes laterally to compress a lower lumber or an upper sacral spinal nerve root. The onset may be sudden, brought on by an awkward lifting or twisting movement. The back is stiff and painful. There may be numbness and weakness in the leg. Bed rest will often relieve the pain.  Surgical treatment is occasionally necessary.

Acupuncture is very powerful in relieving pain (See article ‘Acupuncture; How it works) and this includes pain due to sciatica. In Oriental Medicine it is due to obstructed Qi flow.

Our Qi flow can be obstructed due to  Wind-Cold, Wind-Damp, Injury, Lumbar disc herniation, or muscular problem. If the pain moves around, it is due to Wind. If the pain is intense it is due to Cold. If there is heaviness in lumbar and legs which is worse on wet days, it is due to Damp


Treatment will involve needling the Lumbar 4 + 5 area which is the area we bend from most and carries most stress.  Strong stimulation to be felt along the channel.

It is good to have a  warm bath or shower after the treatment.

Another type of sciatica is:  Sciatica Periformis Syndrome which involves spasms from the periformis muscle from the anterior sacrum (on the front of the body) to the great trochanter (the head of the thigh bone meets the hip joint). The sciatic nerve passes through this muscle and pain can result if this muscle goes into spasm. Acupuncture treatment will involve the release of the spasms and treatment of the sciatic nerve pain area.