Does Acupuncture Help With Sciatica? (Health Coach's Advice)

Does Acupuncture Help with Sciatica and Find It Health Coaches and Wellness Instructors with Benefits of Piriformis

As the health and wellness coach at Find It Health, I would like to discuss the evidence behind how acupuncture may help with sciatica.

Sciatica is a term for low back, hip, or leg pain. Sciatica is often caused by narrowing the space where the sciatic nerve travels—most commonly due to a herniated disc in the spine. The pain associated with sciatica can be severe and debilitating, making it difficult to perform daily activities.

So, what can you do to find relief? Let’s dive in and learn more about how acupuncture could help with sciatica.

Does Acupuncture Help with Sciatica and Find It Health Coaches and Wellness Instructors with Benefits of Piriformis

How Successful Is Acupuncture For Sciatica?

According to clinical studies, acupuncture has been found to provide sciatica relief in the following ways:

  1. Stimulating the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
  2. Reducing inflammation and tension in the affected area.
  3. Improving blood flow to the lower back and legs, which reduces tightness and pain.
  4. Additionally, research has found that acupuncture treatment is associated with improved muscle relaxation and flexibility in patients with sciatica.
  5. Finally, regular acupuncture treatments may help prevent future episodes of sciatica symptoms and keep the condition from worsening over time.


Benefits Of Piriformis Acupuncture

Piriformis acupuncture is a type of acupuncture that can be particularly effective for sciatica pain relief.

This type of acupuncture involves targeting specific points in the piriformis muscle located at the base of the spine and can help reduce pain and tension in the affected area.

The treatment method is effective, with a range of benefits as follows:

Stimulating the production of endorphins.

Piriformis acupuncture stimulates the production of endorphins, hormones that help reduce pain levels.

Endorphins work by blocking the transmission of pain signals from the spinal nerves to the brain, helping to reduce sciatica discomfort and providing relief from sciatica pain.

It Improves Circulation in the Affected Area, Reducing Inflammation and Tension

Improved circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to the affected area, which helps to reduce swelling and inflammation.

Improved circulation increases blood flow to the nerves. This leads to better nerve functioning, reducing sciatica pain.

It Helps To Reduce Nerve Compression

Piriformis acupuncture helps reduce tightness in the piriformis muscle, leading to reduced nerve compression. When this muscle is not tight, it is not pressing on the sciatic nerve, therefore not causing any pain.

By relieving the pressure in this area, piriformis acupuncture can help to reduce the intensity of sciatica pain and provide much-needed relief.

Safe and Non-Invasive, With Minimal Risk of Side Effects

Piriformis acupuncture is a safe and non-invasive treatment with minimal risk of side effects, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a sciatica pain relief option without the need for surgery or prescription medications.

This is because acupuncture does not involve any invasive procedures and poses minimal risk of complications.

Additionally, acupuncture is natural and helps stimulate the body’s healing abilities, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a holistic approach to treating sciatica.

It Can Be Used With Other Treatments

Piriformis acupuncture can be combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy and medications, to help provide maximum results.

Targeting specific points in the piriformis muscle and stimulating endorphin production can help reduce sciatica pain while allowing other treatments to be more effective.This can benefit those looking to reduce their sciatica pain and improve their overall quality of life.


Acupuncture Points For Sciatica Pain

Below are some of the key acupuncture points used to target sciatica-related pain:

On the Hips- Gallbladder 30

In Chinese, the Gallbladder 30 point is called Huan Tiao, which means “jumping round”. It is found deep beneath the glute muscles on the side of your hips. You can locate it by finding the point below and behind the one on the side of your hip.

This point is typically used for sciatica pain relief and can be stimulated with pressure or needles.

Behind the Knees- Bladder 54

If you’re dealing with sciatic leg pain, you could try triggering the Bladder 54 acupressure point. Referred to as Zhibian in Chinese, which translates to “lowermost edge,”

Locating the point behind the knee is quite easy, as it’s located in the center of the crease that’s formed when one bends their knee. To stimulate this point, apply pressure using either your index fingers or an acupuncture needle until you feel some relief.

Near the Index Finger and Thumb – Large Intestine 4

Large Intestine 4, also known as He Gu (junction valley), exerts significant control over many of the body’s processes. It is commonly used to relieve headaches and sinus pain, but it can also alleviate chronic sciatica and lower back pain.

To locate the He Gu pressure point, look at the fleshy part outside your hand near the junction of your thumb and index finger.

If you hold your hand with your palm facing down and make an L-shape, you can place your other thumb in the soft area forming the angle of the L to find this area.

Outside the Knees – Gall Bladder 34

For effective treatment of sciatica pain, use the Gallbladder 34 acupressure point. This point is also known as Yanglingquan or “mound spring.” Activation of this point can alleviate muscle spasms in the legs, musculoskeletal conditions, paralysis, and piriformis syndrome.

To locate the pressure point, please examine the outer side of your lower leg, in front of and below the fibula. You should be able to see a slight depression in this area; that’s where you’ll want to stimulate it.

To activate it, use your thumb to apply gentle pressure on the area. Be cautious not to apply too much pressure because many tendons are near this area, and too much pressure may cause severe pain.

Massage this area for one to two minutes on the side of the body where you experience sciatic nerve pain.


Can Acupuncture Make Sciatica Worse?

Acupuncture is generally considered a safe and effective treatment for acute sciatica, but it is possible that it can make the condition worse in some cases. For example, if the needles are inserted too deeply or placed in an incorrect area, it can cause further irritation to the sciatic nerve and increase pain levels.

Additionally, some people may experience temporary side effects such as bruising or soreness at the insertion site. It is essential to consult with a qualified acupuncturist with experience treating sciatica before undergoing any treatments.

Does Acupuncture Help Hip Pain?

Yes, acupuncture can be a helpful treatment for hip pain. Acupuncture is believed to reduce inflammation and improve circulation in the affected area, which can help to reduce pain and stiffness.

Additionally, acupuncture can target specific points on the body that are believed to have a positive effect on hip pain. These points can be triggered with either pressure or acupuncture needles to stimulate the area and provide relief.

Acupuncture Points For Buttock Pain

This list presents various acupuncture points that can reduce buttock pain:

Gluteus Medius Trigger Point

Located in the gluteal region, this point is commonly implicated in cases of low back pain, sacroiliac joint (SI joint) pain, and buttock pain.

Buttock Point

This point is located in a direct horizontal line from the top of the buttock crease. It is approximately two-thirds down from the top of the crease and can be tender when pressed.

Hipbone Points

Also known as the Womb and Vitals, these points are situated on either side of the hip bone, about two fingerbreadths from the wide bony area at the bottom of your spine.

GB29 or Gallbladder 29

This local acupressure point is located in the depression between your hip and pelvic bones and can help relieve buttock pain when stimulated.


Located on both sides of your lower back, this pressure point can help with lower back and buttocks stiffness when regularly stimulated.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for acupuncture to work on sciatica?

While the effects of acupuncture vary from person to person, most people experience some relief within a few days of starting medical care.

Generally, it takes around 3-5 treatments before the full benefits of acupuncture are felt.

What type of acupuncture is best for sciatica?

There are different types of acupuncture used in treating sciatica, including traditional Chinese medicine, electroacupuncture, and cupping therapy.

What is better for sciatica, acupuncture, or chiropractor?

When treating sciatica, both acupuncture and chiropractic care are effective. Acupuncture sessions can reduce nerve pain, while chiropractic care addresses structural causes of sciatica.

Depending on the individual case, one or both methods may be recommended.

What’s a good treatment for piriformis syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is often treated with physical therapy, stretching exercises, and acupuncture. Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles in the area and reduce spasms while stretching exercises can help reduce tension in the piriformis muscle.

Acupuncture is used to target specific points that are believed to have a positive effect on Piriformis syndrome.

Can acupuncture help piriformis?

Yes, acupuncture can be a helpful treatment for piriformis syndrome. Acupuncture is believed to reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation in the affected area, which can help to reduce chronic pain and stiffness.

Additionally, acupuncture can target specific points on the body that are believed to have a beneficial effect on piriformis syndrome.

What are acupuncture points for piriformis syndrome?

The most commonly used acupuncture points for piriformis syndrome include GB 30, BL 21, 23, 25, 31, 32, 40, 58, 60, and KI 3.

GB 30 is connected to two to four trigger areas on top of the piriformis muscle and should be treated one to three times a week, depending on the severity of the pain.

BL 21 through 40 are located along the belly of the muscle and can help reduce inflammation and relax tight muscles. KI 3 is located near the knee joint and helps with kidney deficiency which may be associated with piriformis syndrome.

What is the fastest way to heal piriformis syndrome?

The fastest way to heal piriformis syndrome is to follow a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of your pain. While acupuncture may help relieve the pain associated with piriformis syndrome, it is not necessarily the fastest way to heal this condition.

A combination of treatments, including lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and medications, may be more effective in managing piriformis syndrome pain.


Conclusion – Research by

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Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for sciatica and piriformis syndrome, offering patients relief from pain and helping to reduce inflammation. While it may take several treatment sessions to experience the full benefits, acupuncture can be a safe and effective treatment option for those seeking an alternative approach to managing their condition.

If you are looking for an alternative approach to treating your sciatica or piriformis syndrome, consider consulting Find It Health for more information on the benefits of acupuncture.


Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches