Sciatica refers to pain in the passage and distribution region of the sciatica nerve. Its main manifestation is radiating pain in the lower back and legs. It usually radiates from the lumbar region on just one side from the lumbar region or buttock to the posterior side of the thigh, popliteal fossa, lateral side of the leg and lateral side of the dorsum of the foot. In Traditional Chinese medicine this relates to the Bladder and Gall Bladder channels. This is not to say that there is a problem with your Bladder or Gall Bladder! Within Traditional Chinese Acupuncture it is possible (and very common) to have a problem in the acupuncture channel but not to have any problem with the related organ.
Chinese medicine states that the body is interconnected; no one part can be separated from another. The diagnosis and treatment is based upon identifying specific imbalances in the muscles and the body as a whole. Correcting the imbalance does not just treat the symptoms or mask the condition, but rather corrects the root of the problem by encouraging self-healing of the body. The most common imbalance in acute sciatica is qi and blood stagnation in the back channels. But it is also important to treat the underlying imbalance, which may be causing the qi and blood to stagnate.
Qi and blood stagnation in the channels often affects the soft tissue of the lumbar, hips, and pelvis. This is what causes the muscle spasm and tension that triggers the intense shooting pain of acute sciatica.
Some common underlying imbalances are kidney qi vacuity, spleen qi vacuity with dampness, and liver qi stagnation. By treating the underlying imbalance, you can prevent the sciatica from returning.
Acupuncture will help to reprogram the muscles to stay relaxed. In effect, this is working to help the body heal itself. Some herbs such as turmeric and Fructus Corni can also help relieve back pain.
After the pain is gone, it is important for you to keep up you own back. Stretching is essential. Stretching will help keep the muscles healthy and relaxed. And it is the best way for you to maintain your own back. Also, doing tai chi, the Chinese exercise and meditation, is very effective to strengthen the lower back and relax it.
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