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Acupuncture for Sciatica

Updated on August 1, 2010

Recently, I experienced a bout of sciatica. I knew immediately what the pain was, because I had experienced it many years before following a rear-end collision in my automobile. If you've ever had sciatica, then you know the intense pain and discomfort caused by the condition, along with the difficulties and time involved in treating it and obtaining permanent relief. If you've never experienced sciatica, then consider yourself very lucky!

This time around, I did my best through yoga stretches and the use of a personal TENS unit (combined with an occasional dose of an OTC analgesic) to keep it under control. Actually, I managed quite well for some time, even surviving an eight-day road trip by bus relatively pain free and comfortable.

However, as the weeks turned into months, the pain level actually increased to the point where I was uncomfortable in bed and unable to get a good night's rest. That's when I decided to consider my options to determine the most expeditious, cost-effective, and least invasive way to rid myself of the pain permanently.

I've had luck in the past with chiropractors, so this option was high on my list. The problem, as I saw it, was that it was not likely that I would be able to find one who would take me right away. And, even if I could get in to see one quickly, I knew there was a chance that I would be required to undergo X-rays and possibly an MRI as part of the overall diagnostic work-up. I didn't want either X-rays or an MRI.

I considered visiting a walk-in clinic where I knew I would see a clinician fairly quickly, but I also anticipated the possibility of X-rays, an MRI, and/or physical therapy -- with perhaps a prescription for a stronger analgesic and maybe even a muscle relaxant. Both medications would have provided relief in the short-term, but neither would have fixed the underlying cause, and I would have been left with diminished functionality as a result of taking them. I had a pressing need to remain completely functional during this entire process.

I was already receiving monthly massages, which helped, but the effects were not as long-lasting as I would have liked or needed.

In the end, I decided to pursue acupuncture treatments, after doing some in-depth research and getting some referrals and recommendations from friends and acquaintances -- even though I am deathly afraid of needles.

Luckily, I was able to connect with the actual acupuncture physician directly when I called. He agreed to see me within the hour. I hobbled up to his office on the second floor barely able to stand up straight or walk unimpaired. It was quite obvious when I arrived on his doorstep that I was in distress.

After a brief consultation, he administered treatment, which consisted of carefully placing thin, disposable needles at strategic acupressure points in my arms and legs. I lay there feeling like a human pincushion for almost an hour, but I left the office feeling like a new woman. It was remarkable what a difference one treatment made! I had more mobility and far less pain when I left the office. The results were absolutely incredible to me.

I left the office knowing that I had connected with a healthcare professional who was truly in the business to help people. I also knew that I had made the right treatment choice for me. I've continued to see the acupuncturist twice a week for about six weeks now, and each time I just keep getting better and better. I cannot say that I truly understand the science behind how it works, but I can say that I am a believer. Of all the healthcare modalities and options available to choose from, I can't think of another that would have yielded such amazing results as quickly, efficiently, or effectively.


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