Treating Sciatica with Acupuncture and Massage

What we call sciatica occurs when either the nerves of the low back or the sciatic nerve is compressed. This causes sharp, radiating pain, tingling, or numbness down the low back, buttocks, leg, and/or heel. At times the pain will be only in one location, such as the heel. At others the whole nerve pathway can be felt. Generally sciatica is felt on one side only, however, clinically it often jumps from side to side.


In Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) terms this can be due to Qi & Blood Stagnation, Wind Cold Damp Bi, Hot Bi, or Kidney Deficiency. When Cold or Damp is present, needle moxa can be very effective to relieve pain and unblock the channels. In these cases having the patient use stick moxa along the entire channel on a daily basis until the pain resolves is also helpful. In cases of Qi & Blood stagnation, needling with eletro-stimulation is very effective at clearing the stagnant qi in the channels.

At Cinnabar Acupuncture Clinic, acupuncture is followed by cupping and massage. Massage can include alternating hot and cold stones, simply hot stones, deep tissue, myofascial release, and/or gentle stretching based on the presentation.

Results can be felt immediately after the treatment, but full results can take up to a day. Depending on the severity and underlying condition (whether it is simply a tight muscle or serious joint deterioration) symptom relief may take anywhere from one treatment to a series of regular visits.

We are featuring a special this month at Cinnabar Acupuncture Clinic called the Sciatica Relief Package that includes the above treatment.