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Is Acupuncture an Effective Therapy for Sciatica Pain?

woman with Sciatica
Jan 25th, 2023 Acupuncture Health Works Regina

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used to treat a variety of conditions for centuries. Recently, acupuncture has been gaining popularity as a treatment for sciatica.

So, does acupuncture for sciatica actually work? In this article, we’ll take a look at the potential benefits and risks of acupuncture for sciatica.

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that results when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, and it runs from the lower back down the legs. Symptoms of sciatica can include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs.

What Causes Sciatica?

There are several potential causes of sciatica. These can include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and pregnancy. Sciatica can also be caused by muscle imbalances, tight muscles, and poor posture.

How Is Sciatica Treated? 

Treatment for sciatica will vary depending on the underlying cause. In some cases, sciatica can resolve on its own with time and rest. In other cases, more aggressive treatment may be needed. 

Treatment options for sciatica can include physical therapy, exercises, stretching, massage, heat/cold therapy, and medication. Surgery is sometimes necessary for severe cases of sciatica.

The Potential Benefits of Acupuncture for Sciatica

1. Acupuncture Can Help to Relieve Pain

Acupuncture is a popular treatment option for pain relief. Studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective for treating various types of pain, including sciatica. Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system and releasing pain-relieving chemicals in the body.

2. Acupuncture Can Help to Improve Circulation

Acupuncture can help to improve circulation throughout the body. This can be beneficial for sciatica, as poor circulation can contribute to pain and inflammation.

3. Acupuncture Can Help to Reduce Inflammation

Acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can be beneficial for sciatica as inflammation can contribute to pain.

4. Acupuncture Can Boost the Immune System 

Sciatica can sometimes be caused by an underlying infection. Acupuncture can help to boost the immune system and fight off infection.

5. Acupuncture Can Help to Improve Overall Well-Being

Acupuncture can help to improve overall well-being. This can be beneficial for sciatica, as stress and anxiety can contribute to pain.

The Risks or Side Effects of Acupuncture for Sciatica

Acupuncture is generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment for sciatica. The most common side effect is temporary pain or discomfort at the site of the needle insertion. There is a small risk of bleeding, bruising, or infection at the needle site. More serious side effects are rare.

If a needle is inserted deeply into the chest, there is a small risk of the lung collapsing. This is because the needle would need to go through multiple layers of tissue to reach the lung.


Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. It is a popular treatment for pain, including sciatica. Some people believe that acupuncture can help to release chemicals in the body that help to reduce pain. There is some scientific evidence to support this claim, but more research is needed.

Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe when performed by a trained professional. There are some risks, such as bruising, bleeding, and infection, but these are rare.

If you are considering acupuncture for the treatment of sciatica, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is safe for you and to discuss any potential risks.

HealthWorks Regina offers many effective and successful treatment options, including acupuncture, chiropractic, physiotherapy, and specialized massage therapy. If you are looking for acupuncture services in Regina, SK, we’ve got you covered. Call us at 306.525.0007 to book an appointment today!