When treating sciatica with acupuncture where the pain is felt is important. While we know the sciatic nerve is to blame, knowing where exactly the pain is radiating helps us address each case of sciatica distinctly for the individual.
Acupuncture can help sciatica pain by first relaxing the affected nerves. When acupuncture needles are inserted, the brain begins releasing chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and noradrenalin that begin to relieve pain symptoms. Acupuncture can also relax the muscles that could be compressing the sciatic nerve, as well as decrease inflammation in the affected areas.
Sciatica is defined as pain that is caused from irritation, inflammation, or compression of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve begins in the low back, goes into the buttocks, and travels down the leg.
Pain occurring because of sciatica is most commonly felt in one, or both, of the buttocks. From there, the pain can travel down the legs and sometimes even go into the backs of the feet. The pain can be shooting, tingling, numb, and even cause weakness of the legs.
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