Different types of sciatic pain

Sciatic pain (sciatica) can range from mildly annoying to severely debilitating.  It usually affects only one side of the body, with the pain extending from the lower back or buttocks down the leg. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the buttocks or leg that worsens with sitting
  • Burning, tingling, or searing pain down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Constant pain on one side of the buttocks
  • Shooting, sharp pain making it difficult to stand

Sciatic pain and its causes

Sciatic pain is a symptom of an underlying medical condition of the lower back area. The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back, runs through the buttocks, and down the back of each leg.  Pain can occur when there is an acute injury to the lower back or can be the result of long-term degeneration of the lumbar area. 

It can also happen with muscle spasm in the gluts or lower back.  The location of the painful symptoms in the leg depends on where in the lower back or glut muscles the sciatic nerve is being compressed.

Acupuncture for Digestive Health

How does acupuncture work physiologically for pain relief?

The insertion of small needles into specific sites on the body triggers a response from the nervous system, muscles and surrounding tissues. This response leads the body to:

  • release a cascade of natural painkillers (endorphins and enkephalins),
  • increase blood flow to the painful area
  • relax the muscles in the surrounding area