Acupuncture for sciatica

Sciatica is one of the most common conditions we treat at Acupuncture Geelong. Caused by inflammation of the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back and down each leg, sciatic pain can range from mild discomfort to an ongoing sharp sensation.

What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is one of the largest in the body. It’s made up of a bundle of nerves that branch from the back, across the buttocks and down each leg.

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed. This leads to inflammation and pain along the nerve. While the causes of sciatica can vary widely, it’s often due to lifestyle factors such as sitting for prolonged periods, picking up or carry heavy objects without the correct technique, age-related changes to the spine or decreased physical inactivity. It can also be caused by health conditions like diabetes, which increase the risk of nerve damage.

Sciatica can often be treated with rest, physical therapy and pain relief. Acupuncture can also be used in conjunction with these treatments to provide pain relief and aid recovery.

Acupuncture and sciatica

A 2015 review of research into acupuncture and sciatica (Zongshi Qin et al. 2015) found that acupuncture may be more effective than medication in relieving sciatic pain. The research also suggests that combining acupuncture and pain relief can provide even better results.

Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles inserted into your skin at specific median points on your body. These points can become blocked, affecting the flow of energy and blood, leading to pain. Inserting needles causes the muscles to relax, releasing tension and improving circulation. The precision of acupuncture needles allows practitioners to target the sciatic nerve for immediate relief. Because the back, hip, and pelvis are interconnected, the treatment can incorporate all of these areas. 

Acupuncture treatment for sciatica in Geelong

Traditional Chinese medicine is based on a philosophy of treating the person as a whole, rather than only targeting the specific complaint. So when it comes to treating sciatica, we take a holistic approach that takes into account stress, digestive issues, sleep and lifestyle. While relieving your pain is certainly the main goal, we also want to enhance your overall health and wellbeing.

During your first appointment at Acupuncture Geelong, Dr Phillip Tring will conduct a thorough assessment to identify the root cause of your sciatic pain to develop a treatment plan. This will help identify the best points to target to relieve your pain. Depending on the cause of your sciatic pain, you may need a series of acupuncture sessions over a number of weeks or months.

Your treatment may also involve Chinese massage or cupping as well as physical therapy (like exercise or gentle movement), dietary changes or changes to the way you sit (like using a rolled-up towel to support your lumbar spine at work). The goal is to not only provide immediate pain relief but to support long-term health.

Dr Phillip Tring is a qualified and AHPRA registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Practitioner with 8 years of experience. He has experience treating a wide range of presenting conditions, particularly those associated with modern life such as back pain, sciatica, sports injuries, and stress.

Known for his friendly, warm and humorous approach to treatment, Dr Phillip combines his knowledge of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine with a passion for improving his clients’ general health, nutrition and wellbeing.