Sciatica pain can be intense and interfere with daily life. However, there is hope for relief. With the help of Summit Physical Therapy, you can conquer pain and reclaim your life.

PT Nerve Needling for Sciatica Relief

Pinching of the sciatic nerve, a major nerve center located in the legs and lower back, is the most common cause of sciatica. Several things can lead to pinching:

  • Tumors
  • Bone spurs
  • Herniated spinal disks

In addition to pain, you may experience muscle weakness, tingling or numbness. In severe cases, sciatica patients also have fecal or urinary incontinence, as bladder and bowel nerve signals aren’t reaching the brain.

Individuals with diabetes, who live a sedentary life, who do a lot of lifting for their jobs or are obese have a higher risk of developing sciatica. In the U.S., about 40% of people will experience sciatica, making it a relatively common condition.

In most cases, treating the root cause of sciatica relieves the pain completely. However, patients with severe cases or who go too long before getting treatment may have permanent nerve damage, which can cause long-term numbness and chronic pain. As a result, it’s crucial to seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you have “electric shock” or burning pain in your legs.

The good news is that dry needling is an effective way to alleviate sciatica. The procedure uses thin needles to elicit twitch responses in the target muscle. Muscles can become taut, causing pain in the affected region. A twitch response in a trigger point can cause the muscle to relax, alleviating the tension and discomfort.

Is dry needling the same as acupuncture? While both use the placement of needles as medical treatment, the answer is no. Acupuncture is a technique from traditional Chinese medicine that uses needles to alter the flow of chi, life energy, throughout the body. While studies indicate that acupuncture yields positive results in treating a variety of ailments, scientists don’t fully understand how it works.

In contrast, there’s ample scientific literature explaining how dry needling works. Physical therapists have used dry needling since the 1980s with positive results. This treatment is available in most areas that practice Western medicine, including clinics offering physical therapy Puyallup WA.

Sciatica Solutions: Needle Your Nerves With Physical Therapy

PT Needle Techniques

What can you expect during dry needling? Once your physician has determined you’re a good candidate, you’ll schedule an appointment. Dry needling requires contact with the skin, so you’ll either need to move clothing so the medical professional can reach or wear a clinic-provided gown.

Physicians typically use their hands to locate the trigger point before inserting a sterile needle. Depending on the situation, your therapist may use the following techniques in addition to trigger point needling:

  • Peripheral neuromodulation
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Periosteal pecking
  • Deep dry needling
  • Superficial dry needling

During the procedure, you may feel tenderness in the trigger point and a brief prick when the needle enters. However, many patients don’t feel the needle at all due to its thinness.

You deserve relief from pain. If you experience sciatica, it’s time to search “physical therapy near me.” With the help of a physical therapist, you can reduce symptoms and retake control of your life.

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