Acupuncture for Sciatica

Treatment for Sciatica

Treatments for sciatica may include painkillers, home remedies, acupuncture, and professional types of care. Effective, lasting relief of sciatica and sciatica-like symptoms typically does not require surgery, although surgical intervention may be the best option in a few cases. It should be kept in mind that no treatment for sciatica pain can be relied upon as a permanent cure. Long-term management of the underlying causes of a person’s sciatica symptoms is usually needed to prevent sciatica from recurring and worsening as time goes on.


Sciatica Treatment

Listed below are the available options for the treatment of sciatica pain

Medications for Treatment of Sciatica Pain

  • The first line of treatment for sciatica nerve pain is often medication, whether prescription or non-prescription. Among the most popular medications are pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The most commonly used medicines for sciatica treatment may produce side effects that can be difficult for some people to tolerate. They usually fail to provide complete relief from symptoms.

Spinal injections

  • The next line of treatment for sciatica nerve pain is often spinal injections, usually done with some steroid medication. Injections decrease swelling from inflammation around the nerves and diminish pressure and irritation. When inflammatory swelling and pressure irritate a nerve, injections may work well. However, if a bone spur, a herniated disc, or something else irritates the nerve, they might not work. Most doctors will limit the number of steroid injections for a given patient because, when overused, steroid injections may cause relatively severe side effects.

Physical Therapy Treatment for Sciatica Pain

  • Physical therapy treatments for sciatica may include ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, other passive therapies, and active rehabilitation exercises. In the early stages of care, passive therapies ease symptoms. In contrast, rehabilitative exercise is used later to correct underlying structural imbalances and distortions that would otherwise lead to recurrences of sciatica.

Surgical treatment for sciatica

  • Surgical sciatica pain treatment should only be considered a last option when everything else has failed. The vast majority of sciatica sufferers can recover without surgery. Surgical intervention may be the only way to get long-term relief from sciatica symptoms in cases of severe disc herniation or rupture, severe degenerative spinal arthritis, or when a cyst or tumor is putting pressure on one or more of the nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve. Note that surgery is not a reliable permanent cure for sciatica.

In the long run, natural remedies for sciatica, like acupuncture, home remedies, and daily exercises, are the best treatments for sciatica and typically provide better overall results than other forms of therapy for sciatica pain.

If you feel pain in your lower-middle back when you bend or stretch, radiating down to your legs, you might be experiencing sciatica.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a pain manifestation resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain usually begins in the lower back and may extend down to the calf and foot, depending on the affected nerve root. Sciatica is not a disorder but a symptom resulting from another medical condition. In most cases, a herniated disc is the cause of sciatica. Any factor that directly inflicts irritation and inflammation on the sciatic nerve produces sciatica symptoms.


The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body. Its nerve roots run from the lumbar spinal cord at the lower back, extending through the buttocks, hips, and lower limbs. When this nerve becomes inflamed or irritated, it produces pain that resembles a leg cramp. It makes neither sitting nor standing difficult due to the intensity of pain it inflicts. Typically, the pain is aggravated when sitting, sneezing, or coughing. Pain in acute sciatica usually lasts four to eight weeks and diminishes independently, depending on the causative agent.

Sciatica symptoms

These symptoms of sciatica are usually only on one side and maybe one of, or a combination of:

  • Pain that runs from the lower back down the back of the leg or buttock can vary from a mild ache to a sharp, burning, or shooting pain that can become debilitating.
  • Pain that is worse when sitting
  • You may experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected leg.
  • Coughing or sneezing can make the pain worse.
  • It is a sharp pain that can make it difficult to walk.


Facts about Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body and is about the diameter of your thumb. It runs from the lower back down your leg, and being the biggest, it is also the longest nerve in the body. It is derived from the spinal nerves that exit the spine from L4 to S3, joining together.

Sciatica symptoms occur when the nerve roots that form the sciatica nerve are compressed or irritated in the lumbar spine. This is what people classically think of as a ‘pinched’ nerve. It is not usually the result of a single injury but an accumulation over time.

Most cases of sciatica will go away over time. However, you should seek urgent medical attention if the pain has a sudden onset, is the result of a bad injury such as a car accident, is not getting better after a week, or if you ever have trouble controlling your bowel or bladder.

Sciatica causes

Interestingly, sciatica is not a specific condition; it is simply a catch of all medical terms applied to a constellation of symptoms to describe a state the back pain sufferer is in. In this case, sciatica describes a patient’s complaint of pain radiating across the buttocks, down the leg, and into the feet and toes, along with the associated tingling or numbness.



Some conditions can cause sciatica, ranging from stress and trauma at a particular location on the spine, the lower back, or lumbar curvature to a more widespread disorder like obesity or pregnancy. Several other conditions are associated with sciatica, requiring varying degrees of medical intervention and treatment. Some of the conditions likely to present with sciatica are:

  • Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone or bone marrow. Osteomyelitis may be debilitating and, in extreme cases, may even cause death. It is difficult to diagnose and may go undetected for a long time unless appropriate tests are ordered and your medical practitioner is well-trained in infectious diseases affecting the bones.
  • Tum tumors on or near the spine can affect the nerves or nerve roots as they leave the spinal canal and intervertebral foramen, leading to sciatic nerve pain, also known as sciatica.
  • Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal and intervertebral foramen. Any narrowing of a structure can be defined broadly as stenosis. The stenosis and the narrowing affect or obstruct the pathway for nerves, thus exacerbating pain—in this case, creating the sciatic nerve pain associated with sciatica.
  • Trauma: Trauma and stress go hand in hand regarding back pain and sciatica. Trauma may be localized, meaning the spine will take the brunt of the pressure at a specific location, or it may be generalized and affect several levels simultaneously. The better equipped we are in terms of muscle strength, muscle balance (or imbalance), and the other factors affecting spine health, the better equipped we will be to handle appropriate stress levels. The IVDs are remarkably resilient and very strong, but if the discs change due to any of the factors listed above or if the traumatic event is profound enough, damage to the spine may occur, and sciatica may be the outcome. In this case, a medical practitioner should always be the first step in any bad back treatment strategy.

In reality, any of the factors above, or several conditions mentioned, may cause sciatica. Sciatica is, once again, the presentation of a specific type of pain. The actual condition causing the sciatic nerve pain may be any of the above or several other conditions not discussed here; these are some of the main ones.

Sciatica pain is a medical condition with associated symptoms of pain along the leg and hip, affecting one side of the body. Sciatica pains may result from spinal compression bone spurs on the spine of a herniated disc. The pain experienced may come in the form of aching, shooting, or burning pain, which could be a combination of these pains.

Sciatica pain has some risk factors that can be avoided, while others cannot be avoided. Factors such as age, back injuries, spinal tumors, back strain due to pregnancy, and diabetic nerve damage are not preventable risk factors.

Sciatica pain sufferers tend to live with the condition undiagnosed for months and sometimes years in mild cases, assuming it to be normal cramping. Some of the possible signs experienced by sufferers include the following:

  • Burning, searing, or tingling pain down the leg
  • Pain gets worse while sitting, and it is felt in the buttocks or leg
  • Pain in one side of the buttocks
  • Difficulty in moving the leg or foot and also difficulty in standing

Sciatic nerve pain results from structural impingement or sciatic nerve compression in the body’s lower back. This occurs due to long-term degeneration of the lumbar area or an injury to the lower back. The location where the pain is felt depends on where the compressed sciatic nerve is located. Sciatica pain can be a result of any of these conditions.

  •    Lumbar spinal stenosis
  •    Degenerative disc disease
  •    Pregnancy
  •    Herniated lumbar disc
  •    Spondylolisthesis

Natural remedies for sciatica

Natural remedies for sciatica pain can be very beneficial, but do not forget to include a good diet and regular exercise. It would be best to remember that you aim to improve your overall health. If you want to avoid having this problem occur again in the future, you may want to sleep on a firm mattress. Always sit and stand in good posture, and avoid lifting heavy objects as much as possible. Small things cause sciatica pain in the long run, so make this a part of your everyday routine.

 home remedies

Listed below are natural remedies for sciatica

Home remedies for sciatica: the most popular natural treatment for sciatica

Assuming that you have sciatic back pain and are confident you have nothing profound to be anxious about, the following suggestions may help you deal with your sciatica with fast home treatment. Listed below is a home treatment for sciatica

Back exercises

  • Back exercise is a treatment for sciatica at home that is very effective; however, engaging in physical activity while your back or legs hurt may go against your instincts. Low-impact exercises like water aerobics, stationary biking, and yoga can reduce symptom severity and strengthen your back to prevent future issues. Stronger back muscles also help support the spine and alleviate pressure on spinal nerves, which can reduce the frequency and intensity of sciatica episodes.



  • Stretching exercises are another home treatment for sciatica. They are physical activities that may alleviate sciatica symptoms. Stretching should be performed slowly and gently; stop immediately if you notice any pain. You may try pulling your knees up to your chest, a seated hip stretch, or a seated spinal twist. The purpose of these stretches is to loosen the buttocks, hamstrings, and calves, which can exert pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Heat and cold therapy

  • Ice and heat are home remedies for sciatica that can alleviate many of the symptoms that accompany sciatica and accelerate the healing process. Applying ice for 15 minutes can numb the affected area, while heat increases blood flow and improves healing. These applications can also reduce muscle spasms, common among sciatica patients.

Sit up straight

  • If you work at a desk or in a bent position for much of the day, pay close attention to your posture. It would be best to sit with your head aligned with your hips. It would also help if you took frequent breaks from sitting to relieve strain on your spine.

Massage is an essential natural treatment for sciatica pain


Sciatica massage

Deeper massages or trigger point therapies are natural remedies for sciatica that have successfully treated muscle spasms, pain, and numbness in the legs and toes. Herbal oils and essential oils also give good results. Massage is also one of the best treatments for sciatica pain.

Herbs and Oils are popular natural treatments for sciatica

Herbs and oils are natural remedies for sciatica that have beneficial effects, and many of them can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. They can be found in capsules, ointments, salves, and infused oils. You can also make tea from fresh or dried herbs or use elixirs, tinctures, and essential oils for pain relief.

Listed below are herbs for sciatica

Celery Juice

  • You can try blending celery and making juice out of it. You can also add carrots to the mixture. This can provide immediate relief.

Elderberry Tea

  • When taken in tea, this herbal remedy can stimulate the muscles and help them relax, which in turn helps reduce inflammation.


  • Garlic is one of the herbal treatments for sciatica pain. It contains vitamins B1 and B-complex, which significantly reduce pain and aches. Garlic also improves blood circulation to prevent blood clotting.

Acupuncture for sciatica is the #1 natural treatment for sciatica pain

This alternative treatment involves inserting hair-fine needles at specific points on the body. Acupuncture for sciatica boosts energy flow and contributes to proper nerve function. After the first treatment, you should feel some relief, but many people would benefit from a few sessions.

Acupuncture for sciatica

Sciatica Acupuncture is a natural remedy for sciatica that serves as one of the best treatments with no side effects once you are done with the sessions. Acupuncture for sciatica has been proven to be more effective than most treatments for sciatica.

Acupuncture for Sciatica Nerve aims at the specific sciatic nerve to control muscle relaxation and blood flow regulation along the passageway of the pain in the leg. Acupuncture for sciatica relieves pain and reduces inflammation at the same time.

The typical treatment for sciatica pain includes epidural steroid and painkiller injections, hot or cold therapy, and surgery to correct structural defects in the lower back.

Alternatively, acupuncture for sciatica, a practice developed from traditional Chinese medicine, offers a gentle and safer treatment for sciatic pain, as it is most practical with general pain management.

How acupuncture treatment for sciatica works for Pain Relief

Acupuncture for sciatica involves inserting tiny needles into specific points called acupuncture points on the body’s surface. This insertion triggers a particular reaction in the nervous system, which is transmitted to the brain. Due to this reaction, the brain releases natural painkillers such as endorphins and encephalin. There is also increased blood flow into the body part where the pain is experienced, bringing relaxation to the surrounding area.

Acupuncture for sciatica

Role of Acupuncture in the Natural Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Though it cannot correct or heal structural defects in the lower back that cause sciatica pain, acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain management. Patients who receive acupuncture for sciatica experience significant improvement in their condition and relief from their severe pain.

Acupuncture points for sciatica treatment

The acupuncture for sciatica procedure includes inserting needles into the wrist/forearm and lower calf/ankle areas, where the acupuncture points for pain management are located. These needles will increase blood flow and bring relaxation to the muscles of the affected area, the lumbar vertebrae, and the pathway of the pain in the leg.

Some of the primary acupuncture points for sciatica are:

  • Zhibia BL54,
  • Dachangshu BL25,
  • Weizhong BL40,
  • Chengfu BL36,
  • Fengshi GB31,
  • Chengsha BL57,
  • Ashi, Huantia GB30
  • Yaoyangguan DU3.

Xuehai (SP10) and Taichong (LV3) are additional acupuncture points for sciatica, where needles are inserted to treat Qi stagnation and blood stasis. Shenshu (BL23) and Taixi (KD3) are also added for liver and kidney deficiency. Yanglingquan (GB34) is added for cold and damp stasis.

Conclusion on natural treatment for sciatica pain

Sciatica is a painful condition that requires urgent medical attention. It can be bothersome and impact the sufferer’s daily life. Whether the experience is mild or chronic, seeking help from a qualified acupuncturist is essential. Lots of research has proven the effectiveness of acupuncture for sciatica. The best way out is to go for acupuncture treatment to improve your mobility and quality of life by managing your pain effectively.

Acupuncture for sciatica in Philadelphia

At the Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic, licensed practitioners provide acupuncture for Sciatica treatment using the most modern and practical approaches, including classical acupuncture, auricular therapy (Ear Acupuncture), electrical acupuncture, moxibustion, meridian massage, injections of homeopathic Traumeel, and more. We are located in the NorthEast region of Philadelphia, near public transportation and shopping places.

The Master of Oriental Medicine, Da Wei Hu, LAc, provides acupuncture services at the clinic.

David Wu - Master of Oriental Medicine

He has extensive experience treating various medical conditions that cause pain and discomfort. To schedule your initial evaluation and treatment appointment with Dr. David Wu (short for Da Wei Hu), contact Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic at (267) 403-3085 or use the widget below.