Sciatica and Acupuncture

Many of us refer to the ache or discomfort down our legs as ‘sciatica’ – and we’re probably right. The sciatica nerve runs from the lower back L4,L5,S1, S2 and S3, spreading out downwards through the buttocks into the leg. Any compression on this nerve can lead to all sorts of sensations in the bottom and leg and again these can range from agonising to a mild ache. Want to see a great image of the actual sciatic nerve location – click here.

If we are using the meridians to map the pain felt in sciatica we usually look to either the Bladder meridian or the Gall Bladder meridian. The Bladder meridian runs straight down the back either side of the spine and then mainly down the posterior aspect of the leg ending in the outer side of the foot. So for sciatica that seems originate in the lower back and travel down the back of the leg or towards the back of the knee we tend to choose points on on the Bladder channel.

For sciatica that seems to originate more in the buttocks and hip, and perhaps radiates down the side of the leg – it’s the Gallbladder channel. This meridian zig-zags across the sides of the body. You know those tender points in your buttocks if you’ve ever gone for a sports massage? Yup that’s probably right on those Gallbladder meridian points. Personally I find Tuina better than needles for getting into these sore spots.

Acupuncture is great for sciatica – less so when there is serious degenerative changes in the spine that are contributing to it. Better acupuncturists than me may disagree, but in my experience it’s tough to get total relief.

It’s particular good for overactive muscles – tight muscles, inflammation, soreness and aching in the back. Although acupuncture may provide you with pain relief you will still need to follow some exercises to prevent re-occurrence.

If you’d like to try acupuncture for sciatica you can book yourself in online by clicking here. You can also arrange a time to speak with Kate beforehand. Please email kate_mcdougall@protonmail.com.

Lower Back Pain Clinic – Thursday 6th March

This year Acupuncture Awareness Week (AAW) runs from March 3rd – 8th. The focus nationwide is on back pain and support comes from the dancer Camilla on BBC’s ‘Strictly’ – she uses acupuncture for her own back pain.
NICE have recently recommended that acupuncture be made available on the NHS for chronic lower back pain, however it is still currently difficult to obtain a referral for NHS acupuncture in Norfolk.
To celebrate AAW 2014 I am running a special pain clinic for lower back pain on Thursday 6th March. This is suitable for people who would like to try acupuncture before committing to a full course of acupuncture or speaking to their GP about options on the NHS.

  • Cost – £10 per acupuncture session
  • Must be suffering with lower back pain – in the small of the back, sacrum, coccyx and buttocks.
  • Must be aged between 18-79.
  • Must not have had any other form of physical treatment (physiotherapy / osteopathy for example) 48 hours prior to acupuncture

Please book your slot by calling clinic reception on 01603 665173. Clinic runs from The Complementary Health Care Clinic, 34 Exchange St, NR2 1AX.