An excerpt from: https://www.spine-health.com/blog

Acupuncture and Stretching Helped My Sciatica: An Open Letter from a Spine-health Reader

I remember the moment I first injured my back very clearly, even though it was 7 years ago. Though I was an active, healthy, 46-year-old man with no previous spine issues, I felt a sharp twinge of pain in my lower back as I lifted groceries out of the trunk of my car.

The pain was noticeable, but bearable, so I just took some over-the-counter pain medicine and ignored it. 

A few days later, I started to notice a mild tingling sensation in my right leg. I mentioned this to my friend, who is a physiotherapist, and she recommended I call my doctor right away.

I didn’t take her advice to call the doctor right away, and as I hit the 3-week mark after my original incident, the pain in my back grew worse, and the tingling in my leg was getting progressively more bothersome. Looking back, I wish I had gone to see my doctor sooner. Finally, I made an appointment with my doctor.

My doctor referred me to get an MRI, and I was consequently diagnosed with a herniated disc at the L4-L5 segment.

I was happy to hear my doctor did not recommend surgery. He prescribed a course of NSAIDs and instructed me to start some gentle exercises.

Healing through physical therapy

After 6 weeks of taking my pain medication I was still in quite a bit of pain, so my doctor recommended I see a physiotherapist (similar to a physical therapist in the United States).

My physiotherapist provided hands-on treatment and recommended stretches to do at home. The stretches I found particularly useful were the back extensions like these: 

The goal of these stretches is to increase the size of the nerve canal, which has been compressed as a result of the herniation.

    Pain relief from acupuncture

    I spent a lot of time extensively researching my condition. As a result of all this research I was convinced I needed to try acupuncture. I figured that I may as well give as many potential therapies a try.

    I booked an appointment at a local acupuncture clinic. The exercises were helping, but I was still in pain. It was rather daunting at first to enter a darkened room and allow a stranger to stick needles into me. But, my experience with acupuncture was very positive, and it provided almost instant relief. After 10 sessions, I was pain free, and I credit a big part of my healing to it. 

    I continue to work on staying pain free by doing my stretches and getting acupuncture as needed. I hope my story can give anyone searching for natural pain remedies hope.

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    We thank our reader, Dan, from BackSpasmAdvice for sharing his story with us, and we hope it gave some of you inspiration to keep looking for a treatment that works for you.

    Keywords: East Brunswick, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Pain Relief, Physical Therapy, Stretching,