Sciatica is one of the most commonly reported complaints affecting quality of life. Research has established acupuncture as a safe and effective treatment option for chronic pain. A 2015 systematic review of 12 studies, totaling 1842 participants, was conducted on the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of sciatica.
The summary of results indicate that acupuncture is:
clinically effective for the treatment of sciatica
effective in reducing pain intensity
effective in increasing pain thresholds
Acupuncture has been demonstrated to be effective, safe, and well tolerated by patients for acute and chronic pain by:
stimulating the body to release endorphins and other neurohumoral factors that change the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord
reducing inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
increasing blood circulation and reducing swelling
causing a change in sciatic nerve blood flow
influencing neurotrophic factor signalling, important to neuropathic pain
increasing noradrenaline and serotonin to reduce pain and speed nerve repair
promoting the regeneration and improving conductivity of the sciatic nerve
Ji, M., Wang, X., Chen, M., Shen, Y., Zhang, X., & Yang, J. (2015). The Efficacy of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2015, 192808. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/192808
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