Sciatica can be very painful when left for too long to develop. A pinched nerve needs releasing as soon as possible to bring relief to the client. Here we take a look at a case study of Sciatica.

Miss W is an office worker seated at her desk for most of the day. She came to me with Sciatic nerve pain on her right hand side and resulting stiffness when she walked.

Miss W said the Sciatic pain was worse when she drove and getting in and out of the car was always a challenge.

I started by treating important core muscles in the lower back- The quadratus Lumborum.

Acupuncture points wee also inserted in the erector spinae muscles in the Lumbar region around L2 + 3 and L4 + 5.

Acupoints were also used in the sacrum, the gluteals and around the sacro-iliac joint. The purpose of ‘tagging’ these areas with needles is to encourage the specific muscles to relax and stretch, encourage circulation to these areas to assist the muscle relaxation process and intercept pain messages to the brain from the muscles.

These are some of the ways that acupuncture ‘works’.

These acupuncture sessions were followed with some basic massage techniques. The pain levels over the weeks would go down and up with a general reduction in the lower back and hip pain from the sciatic nerve irritation until I started using Acupuncture points on the hamstrings and calves!

This was the turning pint in Miss W’s treatment as the sciatic pain, lower back ain and hip pain all subsided very quickly.

Although you can experience referred pain down the leg in Sciatica, most practitioners treat the origin or source of pain which for the hip and the leg is the lower back.

‘Referred pain’ can confuse a symptom picture as it is pain felt somewhere different from where it is caused.

By Katika Funnell, Acupuncturist and Chinese Medical Practitioner