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Everyone wants to know what is the modus operandi of acupuncture and how it works. In this article a description of the common medical condition of sciatica is described, and the nerves which may be involved in the causation of the symptoms. The sciatic nerve carries many different types of nerve fibers. There are light touch fibers, hot and cold, propioceptive fibers, motor fibers, pain fibers and sympathetic /parasympathetic nerve fibers.
Basically acupuncture is used to restore normal function to whichever nerves are involved in causing the symptoms. This will vary from person to person. The commonest cause of sciatica is due to muscle spasm in the buttocks causing pressure on the sciatic nerve. However, most people are under the mistaken belief that it is disc problems causing the pain. This is because scans will show bones and discs, but not soft tissue. In 30% of people, the sciatic nerve goes through the muscle. Thus if the muscle is in spasm it causes pressure on the sciatic nerve.
80% of pain is musculoskeletal
Around 80% of back pain is caused by soft tissue i.e muscle and ligament pain. The only way to diagnose and treat this condition is to physically examine the patient. Then determine where the problem is originating, and then acupuncture the area.
Unfortunately in this world of high powered investigations, this simple basic physical examination has been forgotten. This often leads to incorrect diagnosis followed by incorrect treatment. So in our clinic we first need to perform a physical examination. Then form a working diagnosis, and then acupuncture where we think it best. Of course we still order scans where indicated. The most important thing is to perform physical examination first.
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