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Acupuncture for Sciatica

Understanding the causes of sciatica


The term "sciatica" refers to a discomfort that originates in the lumbar and sacral spinal nerves.
One or both legs are affected by this pain.
Pain and/or tingling radiate down the buttocks, back of one leg, and to the foot as symptoms.
There may be patchy numbness of the skin in the area of pain, as well as weakening in parts of the lower leg muscles.
Movements that affect the low back, particularly bending forward, are common causes of pain.
Low back discomfort is frequently, but not always, related with sciatica.
Damage to one or more of the lumbar or sacral spinal nerves, which emanate from the very base of the spinal cord, causes sciatica.
The spinal cord actually ends at the level of the L1/L2 vertebrae.
At this level, the spinal nerves leave the base of the cord and proceed through the spinal canal to their exit locations at the sacral and lumbar intervertebral spaces.
Anything that compresses the lumbar and sacral spinal nerves, either as they descend down the spinal canal or as they emerge through the intervertebral gaps, can cause injury.
Protrusion ("prolapse") of an intervertebral disc, either between the L5/S1 vertebrae or between the S1/S2 vertebrae, is the most common cause of spinal nerve compression.

The L5 and S1 nerve roots will be compressed by these prolapsed discs, respectively.

Osteoarthritis of the vertebrae is another major cause of spinal nerve compression.
The narrowing of the intervertebral gaps as well as the spinal canal can be caused by arthritic alterations to the vertebral bones.
The term spondylosis refers to the degenerative processes that result in disc prolapse and arthritic deformities of the vertebrae.
As a result, the medical term for these degenerative causes of sciatica and low back pain is lumbar spondylosis.
Sciatica can also be caused by strain in the muscles and ligaments that support the vertebrae.
Tension squeezes the vertebrae together, cramping the openings via which the spinal nerves should emerge.
This type of sciatica is usually milder, and it appears and disappears depending on things such as overwork, exhaustion, moods, and the weather.
Sciatica can be caused by a tumour in the spinal canal or near the lumbo-sacral spinal column in rare cases.
In this situation, the sciatica is gradually worsening.
As a result, progressive sciatic pain should be regarded as a sign of a serious illness.
Although there is a poor link between the alterations shown on an X-ray and the degree of symptoms, an X-ray of the spine can be used to determine the arthritic changes of lumbar spondylosis.
The most useful test is an MRI scan, which can reveal the location of the compression of the spinal nerve as well as whether or not a disc prolapse is present.


Sciatica in Chinese medicine


Sciatica pain and numbness are caused by Damp-Cold (or rarely Damp-Heat) in the Gallbladder and Bladder channels, according to Chinese medicine.
The development of sciatica is frequently due to an underlying kidney insufficiency.

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