Sciatica is not a single diagnosis but rather a blanket medical term used to describe an entire set of symptoms. Sciatica usually refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your buttocks and down the back of each leg. You can see our blog on the presentation and causes of sciatica here.
While sciatica can be extremely painful and uncomfortable, it is rare that permanent nerve damage results. Most pain is due to inflammation, which irritates the nerve, and will improve within a period of time. Acupuncture or Dry Needling are one of many techniques that can be used to help reduce the healing time and promote better outcomes in the short and long term.
How is Acupuncture or Dry Needling Used?
Acupuncture or dry needling techniques both use thin filiform needles that are inserted to different structures of the body. In the case of sciatica and lower back pain, it is likely that dry needling techniques will be used. The goal of dry needling is to “deactivate” or “reset” overstimulated or sensitised muscles, this is done by inserting the needles into the targeted muscles.
This often results in:
- Increase in range of motion
- Return of function
- A decrease in pain or sensitisation in the area
- Increase blood flow to the area
This treatment would be used in conjunction with other treatments and specific rehabilitation exercises. You can check out our blog on treating sciatica here, for more information on how sciatica is treated at BOLT Chiropractic.