Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Sciatica

What Is Sciatica?


Sciatica - Basics

Sciatica is a condition characterized by radiating pain that originates in the lower back and extends down the back of the legs, sometimes down to the feet. The pain is caused by the application of pressure to the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back down the back of the leg. Commonly the pressure is the result of a herniated, or ruptured, disc in the lower back. A herniated disc occurs when one of the pieces of soft material found between each vertebrae (called discs) becomes displaced from the spine or ruptures. With sciatica, the ruptured disc creates pressure that presses against the sciatic nerve, resulting in radiating pain down the leg. Sciatica can also be the result of a pelvic injury or spinal stenosis, a narrowing in the spine.
Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for Sciatica.

What Patterns Are Related To Sciatica?


Sciatica - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of sciatica generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of sciatica:

Kidney Qi DeficiencyKidney Yang DeficiencyLiver Blood DeficiencyLiver WindLiver and Gallbladder Damp Heat

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Which Acupuncture Point Protocols May Be Applied For Sciatica?


Sciatica - Acupuncture Protocols

The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.

The following acupuncture treatment protocols may be used with sciatica:

Which Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols Apply To Sciatica?


Sciatica - Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols

Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for sciatica that we would use in Tong Ren techniques form the basis for our acupuncture treatments as well. Generally you would mix these primary points with points specific to the patients underlying TCM pattern and then our tuina (medical massage) would be largely focused on these points as well.

The following Tam healing and tong ren therapy protocols may be used with sciatica:

6 Points Are Empirically Important For Sciatica

Formulas and Products @ Our Store Associated With Sciatica

The Following (6)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Sciatica

Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan (Solitary Hermit Teapills)

Clinical Usages

  • For chronic pain due to obstruction (bi zheng) with liver and kidney deficiency.
  • For lower back pain often with weakness and/or pain in the knees.
  • For arthritis, especially the type affected by cold/damp weather.

    Clinical Categorization


      • Use with caution during pregnancy.
      • Do not use with patients that present with damp heat or excess heat.

        Gui Zhi Tang Wan (Cinnamon Twig Decoction)

        Clinical Usages

        • Gan Mao (wind-cold) - Common cold or flu (or related illnesses, asthma, rhinitis, etc.) presenting with fever and chills (unrelieved by sweating), headache, aversion to wind, no desire for fluids, dry cough, sore throat.
        • Frostbite.
        • Pain from cold - may manifest in the joints, sciatic pain, neuralgia.
        • Some skin conditions that are worse with cold and tend to be dry and itchy.
        • Potentially useful post-partum (for colds or fevers) to strengthen the exterior (wei qi).

          Clinical Categorization

          Huo Luo Xiao Ling Wan (Miraculously Effective Pill To Invigorate The Collaterals)

          Clinical Usages

          • A range of pain related issues when they arise from qi and blood stagnation (both acute and chronic) - pain essentially anywhere in the body, bruises and swelling and other signs of stasis.  May often be combined with other formulas which deal more with the root issues.
          • Abdominal masses, fibroids, cysts as well as organ related issues such as cirrhosis, appendicitis and inflammatory conditions such as endometriosis.
          • May be used to help clear an ectopic pregnancy with the right factors.

            Clinical Categorization


            • Avoid during pregnancy.
            • Avoid with heavy menstrual bleeding.
            • Use only under direction if you are taking blood thinners.
            • Generally not for long term use.

              Shao Yao Gan Cao Wan (Peony and Licorice Decoction)

              Clinical Usages

              • Cramping and/or muscle spasms that are due to fluid deficiency.
              • Frozen shoulder, trigger finger.
              • General tightness or cramps especially along the tendons or ligaments.
              • Restless leg syndrome for patients who present with yin and blood deficiency as the primary cause.

                Clinical Categorization

                Shu Jing Huo Xue Wan (Relax The Channels and Invigorate The Blood Decoction)

                Clinical Usages

                • Primarily used for blood stasis with wind-damp in the channels and collaterals characterized by internal deficiency with external excesses - joint pain, muscle aches, numbness and/or pain in the lower extremities (may be severe).
                • Wind-cold damp bi-syndrome (i.e. arthritis) - particularly in the lower part of the body, hips, knees, lower back.
                • Sciatic pain with the correct underlying pattern.
                • Neck pain with the correct underling pattern.
                • Fractures that are reluctant to heal, particularly in the lower body.

                  Clinical Categorization


                  • Avoid during pregnancy.
                  • Generally not for long term use and use with caution if at all in deficient patients.

                    Zuo Gu Shen Jing Tong Wan (Sciatica Pills)

                    Clinical Usages

                    • Wind-cold-damp bi syndromes with particular issues in the lower back and legs - sciatic pain, heaviness in the lower body, hip and knee pain, arthritis in those areas (osteo or rheumatoid).

                      Clinical Categorization

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