Acupuncture for back pain and sciatica can be one of the most effective effective treatments to relive pain when done correctly. In Chinese medicine, pain is doe to what is referred to as Qi and blood stagnation. Qi and blood stagnates as a result of the body’s way of telling us there is something wrong, thus causing pain to protect itself from use. The more the stagnation, the more pain one may experience. By utilizing acupuncture for back pain, we can reestablish the flow of Qi and blood and reduce and even eliminate pain. This not only helps manage pain, but assists the speed and quality of the recovery. Many times acupuncture for back pain can be resolved in one treatment. Other times, multiple treatments are necessary.

The Treatment of Bilateral Sciatica with Acupuncture: A Case Study


Background: Sciatica is characterized by pain going down the leg from the lower or posterior aspect of the leg. Depending on the presentation, pain can radiate down the anterior side or the backside of the leg. Normally, sciatica affects one side of the body, however there are presentations that may affect both sides. Onset is often triggered by heavy lifting, impact injuries and or degeneration.

Objectives: This case study provides an approach to the treatment of back pain with sciatica, with acupuncture.

Methods: A 75-year-old male with severe low back pain and bilateral sciatica was treated with acupuncture. The patient had a total of 16 treatments in an 8-week period of time.

Results: This patient demonstrated significant pain relief after 8 weeks of 2 treatments per week. On the first intake, the patient initially reported an 8-9/10 on a pain scale, with 20+ daily episodes of sciatica. The patient could not walk without a cane nor sit or lie down comfortably. The patient initially reported lack of sleep at night, tired all day, with excruciating back pain 24 hours per day. With weekly acupuncture treatment, the patient showed significant improvements every other week with the reduction of pain and sciatic episodes. By week 3, the patient went from sleeping 2 hours per night to 6-8 hours per night. During the last two weeks, the patient reported only intermittent pain on a scale of 1- 2/10 with 2 episodes of sciatica during the 7th week and 2 episodes of sciatica during the 8th week with no little to no pain.

Conclusion: Acupuncture may be a worthwhile option to consider for low back pain and sciatica.

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