Sciatica is a painful condition which begins in the lower back and radiates down one or both legs sometimes into the feet. It is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve which extends from the lower back down the back of the leg.
Sciatica is usually cited as the result of a structural issue; a herniated or ruptured disc, muscle spasm of the low back or inflammation of the vertebrae or sacroiliac joint.
Traditional Chinese Medicine observes that this condition occurs more frequently during the cold damp weather of fall and winter. Though structural problems are most often used to explain the pattern of pain, TCM also considers individual imbalances along with the external influences of cold, damp, heat or wind in combination as key in creating many painful conditions.
In TCM, sciatica and low back pain are thought to be the result of cold or damp blocking the body’s circulation, trauma creating energy and blood stagnation or from an underlying condition of deficiency in the body.
Acupressure and acupuncture are very effective in treating sciatica. They help to identify the cause and contributing factors to the condition. Muscle groups involved in creating the spasm can be successfully released. When the muscles lengthen they no longer pull on sensitive structures and the pain diminishes.
Though many people may present with sciatica, they may have different contributing factors or causes. Therefore, the treatment will depend on the individual’s specific symptoms.