Acupuncture as an effective alternative to Opioids in the treatment of Sciatica


A wide range of medications are used to help manage the pain of sciatica. Over the counter medication (NSAIDS) such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen are common choices. If this does not control the pain their doctor may provide stronger prescription medication. However these medication may come with side effects such as addiction, heart damage, liver damage, and GI bleeding. Because of its overuse the U.S. is currently experiencing a crisis known as the opioid epidemic.

Acupuncture has been shown to be more effective than opioids. In a systematic review comparing 122 relevant studies. Opioids were not found to be as effective as Acupuncture and manipulation.

“Comparative clinical effectiveness of management strategies for sciatica: systematic review and network meta-analyses. Spine J. 2015 Jun 1;15(6):1461-77. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2013.08.049. Epub 2013 Oct 4.” Retrieved from

Sciatica and lumbar herniated discs, can fully heal and resolve given the proper time and treatment. Acupuncture can promote the healing of herniated discs. There are cases and studies that show pre and post treatment with MRI. With the imaging results showing considerable improvement while patients experienced no pain.

Here at LES Acupuncture & Bodywork we begin by correctly diagnosing where the area of dysfunction is occurring. Sciatica or sciatic nerve compression normally occurs in the lumbar spine as a result from lumbar herniated discs. We use a combination of traditional acupuncture, modern Neurofunctional Acupuncture, and electro acupuncture to address the condition. The treatments may also consist of Chinese cupping and Manual therapy depending on the severity.

Simple Cold and Flu Fighting Soup

Studies have shown that patients receiving acupuncture have elevated immune-enhancing hormones and blood counts for up to three days after treatment. If you begin to feel the symptoms of the cold or flu coming on, it is important to visit your acupuncturist right away to get the most benefit from your treatment. Acupuncture can:

    *Prevent colds and flu by boosting the immune system
    *Help you get over the cold or flu faster if you already have it
    *Reduce chills, fever and body aches
    *Relieve sore throat and congestion

What else can I do to fight against colds and the flu?

This simple soup is an ancient Chinese remedy that is used when someone is experiencing a fever with cold symptoms. Cook this broth as soon you feel a fever coming on, with symptoms of chills and a runny nose:

Green Onion, Garlic and Ginger Soup

    2 green onions (use only the white part) cut into several pieces
    1 piece of ginger the size of a thumb, cut into slices
    2 to 3 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
    1 to 2 teaspoons of brown sugar or honey

Put the top three ingredients into a pot and add about 2¼ cups of water. Boil it for 10 minutes and then add the brown sugar or honey. Drink the soup while it is warm or hot. After drinking the soup, curl up into a warm blanket and rest.