Sciatica, trapped nerve, slipped disc, it has many names, but one common factor - PAIN.
It hurts, and nothing hurts quite the same as nerve pain, going down your leg, causing tingling or numbness in your feet, maybe even you feel like your leg is giving way from underneath you.
Sciatica can come on gradually over time, maybe you had an episode years ago but it went away, maybe it just suddenly happened with no warning what so ever, this episode is just not going away no matter what you try. Your first thought will be your Doctor, who will say pain killers and then see if goes on its own over 6 weeks.
Some cases of sciatica do go away on its own in 6 weeks, but its likely to flare up again, then the next option maybe physio but if there is anything longer than GP waiting lists it's the Physio's, so what to do?
First off is understanding what sciatica actually is:
Sciatica is pain of the sciatica nerve, something is irritating or squashing it, this can be from a muscle spasm in your lower back or bum muscle, a degenerative disc or narrowing of the spinal canal basically getting older, arthritis or a lifting injury can cause these.
Finding out exactly your cause can involve pestering the GP for a scan, it will help you know what is causing the sciatica but will not change the way you manage your pain.
Managing your pain is the key to treating sciatica, I have seen many cases in clinic from muscle spasm to severe disc degeneration, all have responded very well to acupuncture, acupuncture seems to be the thing that gets into the area causing the problem and helps resolve what's going on.
It can be a slow process improving pain, usually in 4 sessions of acupuncture you should notice some change, we aim to get you to a point where you have more good days than bad and you can get on with day to day life with a reduction in pain killers. Maintenance is key, a treatment once a month or every 6-8 weeks keeps symptoms at bay so you can get on just enjoying what you do.
Suffering, or know someone who is? Why not give acupuncture a go, I have over 10 years experience in treating sciatica and can honestly say it helps.