Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture for Sciatica: A Natural and Effective Pain Relief


β€œFor individuals considering acupuncture for sciatica relief and management, can knowing how it works and what to expect during a session help in making the decision?”

Acupuncture Sciatica Treatment Session

Acupuncture for sciatica is a safe and effective medical treatment to relieve and manage pain symptoms. Studies suggest it is as effective as other treatment strategies and causes fewer side effects. (Zhihui Zhang et al., 2023) The frequency of acupuncture to relieve sciatica pain depends on the severity of the condition and injury, but many report improvement within two to three weeks. (Fang-Ting Yu et al., 2022)

Needle Placement

  • Circulation problems can cause the body’s energy to stagnate in one or more meridians/channels, leading to pain in and around the surrounding area. (Wei-Bo Zhang et al., 2018)
  • The objective of acupuncture is to restore optimal circulation by stimulating specific points in the body called acupoints.
  • Thin, sterile needles stimulate the acupoints to activate the body’s natural healing abilities and relieve pain. (Heming Zhu 2014)
  • Some practitioners use electroacupuncture – a gentle, mild electrical current is applied to the needles and passes through the tissues to activate the nervous system. (Ruixin Zhang et al., 2014)


Acupuncture sciatica treatment involves specific acupoints along the bladder and gallbladderΒ meridians.

Bladder Meridian – BL

The bladder meridian/BL runs down the back along the spine, hips, and legs. The acupoints within the meridian for sciatica include: (Fang-Ting Yu et al., 2022)

  • BL 23Β  -Shenshu – Location on the lower back, near the kidney.
  • BL 25 – Dachangshu – Location on the lower back.
  • BL 36Β  – Chengfu – Location on the back of the thigh, just below the buttocks.
  • BL 40 – Weizhong – Location behind the knee.

Gallbladder Meridian – GB

The gallbladder meridian/GB runs along the sides from the corner of the eyes to the pinky toe. (Thomas Perreault et al., 2021) The acupoints for sciatica within this meridian include: (Zhihui Zhang et al., 2023)

  • GB 30 – Huantiao – Location on the back, where the buttocks meet the hips.
  • GB 34 – Yanglingquan – Location on the outside of the leg, below the knee.
  • GB 33 – Xiyangguan – Location lateral to the knee, on the side.

Stimulating acupoints in these meridians increases blood flow to the area, reduces inflammation, and releases endorphins and other pain-relieving neurochemicals to relieve symptoms. (Ningcen Li et al., 2021) The specific acupoints vary depending on symptoms and the root cause. (Tiaw-Kee Lim et al., 2018)

Example Patient

An example of acupuncture sciatica treatment session: A patient with persistent shooting pain extending down the back and side of the leg. A standard treatment consists of the following:

  • The acupuncturist thoroughly goes over the patient’s medical history and symptoms and has the patient point to where the pain is located.
  • Then, they palpate on and around the area to find where the pain worsens and lessens, communicating with the patient as they go along.
  • Depending on the site and severity, they may start placing needles at the lower back, focusing on the site of the injury.
  • Sometimes, the sacrum is involved, so the acupuncturist will place needles on those acupoints.
  • They then move to the back of the leg and insert needles.
  • The needles are retained for 20-30 minutes.
  • The acupuncturist leaves the room or treatment area but regularly checks in.
  • The patient may feel a warmth, tingling, or mild heaviness, which is a normal response. This is where patients report a calming effect. (Shilpadevi Patil et al., 2016)
  • The needles are carefully removed.
  • The patient may feel deeply relaxed and will be advised to get up slowly to avoid dizziness.
  • There may be soreness, redness, or bruising at the needle insertion site, which is normal and should resolve quickly.
  • The patient will be given recommendations as to avoiding strenuous activity, properly hydrating, and performing gentle stretches.

Acupuncture Benefits

Acupuncture has been shown to be a complementary therapy for pain relief and management. The benefits of acupuncture:

Improves Circulation

  • Acupuncture stimulates blood circulation, which nourishes damaged or irritated nerves and promotes healing.
  • This helps relieve sciatica symptoms, like numbness, tingling, and pain. (Song-Yi Kim et al., 2016)

Releases Endorphins

  • Acupuncture triggers the release of endorphins and other natural pain-relieving chemicals, which help relieve pain. (Shilpadevi Patil et al., 2016)

Regulates the Nervous System

  • Acupuncture rebalances the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses, which reduces stress, tension, and pain. (Xin Ma et al., 2022)

Relaxes the Muscles

  • Nerve pain often accompanies muscle tension and spasms.
  • Acupuncture relaxes tight muscles, reducing pressure and providing relief. (Zhihui Zhang et al., 2023)

From Symptoms to Solutions


Zhang, Z., Hu, T., Huang, P., Yang, M., Huang, Z., Xia, Y., Zhang, X., Zhang, X., & Ni, G. (2023). The efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy for sciatica: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trails. Frontiers in neuroscience, 17, 1097830.

Yu, F. T., Liu, C. Z., Ni, G. X., Cai, G. W., Liu, Z. S., Zhou, X. Q., Ma, C. Y., Meng, X. L., Tu, J. F., Li, H. W., Yang, J. W., Yan, S. Y., Fu, H. Y., Xu, W. T., Li, J., Xiang, H. C., Sun, T. H., Zhang, B., Li, M. H., Wan, W. J., … Wang, L. Q. (2022). Acupuncture for chronic sciatica: protocol for a multicenter randomised controlled trial. BMJ open, 12(5), e054566.

Zhang, W. B., Jia, D. X., Li, H. Y., Wei, Y. L., Yan, H., Zhao, P. N., Gu, F. F., Wang, G. J., & Wang, Y. P. (2018). Understanding Qi Running in the Meridians as Interstitial Fluid Flowing via Interstitial Space of Low Hydraulic Resistance. Chinese journal of integrative medicine, 24(4), 304–307.

Zhu H. (2014). Acupoints Initiate the Healing Process. Medical acupuncture, 26(5), 264–270.

Zhang, R., Lao, L., Ren, K., & Berman, B. M. (2014). Mechanisms of acupuncture-electroacupuncture on persistent pain. Anesthesiology, 120(2), 482–503.

Perreault, T., FernΓ‘ndez-de-Las-PeΓ±as, C., Cummings, M., & Gendron, B. C. (2021). Needling Interventions for Sciatica: Choosing Methods Based on Neuropathic Pain Mechanisms-A Scoping Review. Journal of clinical medicine, 10(10), 2189.

Li, N., Guo, Y., Gong, Y., Zhang, Y., Fan, W., Yao, K., Chen, Z., Dou, B., Lin, X., Chen, B., Chen, Z., Xu, Z., & Lyu, Z. (2021). The Anti-Inflammatory Actions and Mechanisms of Acupuncture from Acupoint to Target Organs via Neuro-Immune Regulation. Journal of inflammation research, 14, 7191–7224.

Lim, T. K., Ma, Y., Berger, F., & Litscher, G. (2018). Acupuncture and Neural Mechanism in the Management of Low Back Pain-An Update. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 63.

Kim, S. Y., Min, S., Lee, H., Cheon, S., Zhang, X., Park, J. Y., Song, T. J., & Park, H. J. (2016). Changes of Local Blood Flow in Response to Acupuncture Stimulation: A Systematic Review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2016, 9874207.

Patil, S., Sen, S., Bral, M., Reddy, S., Bradley, K. K., Cornett, E. M., Fox, C. J., & Kaye, A. D. (2016). The Role of Acupuncture in Pain Management. Current pain and headache reports, 20(4), 22.

Ma, X., Chen, W., Yang, N. N., Wang, L., Hao, X. W., Tan, C. X., Li, H. P., & Liu, C. Z. (2022). Potential mechanisms of acupuncture for neuropathic pain based on somatosensory system. Frontiers in neuroscience, 16, 940343.

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Acupuncture for Sciatica: A Natural and Effective Pain Relief" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Dr. Alex Jimenez

Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.

Published by

Recent Posts

Fueling Your Body with Glycogen: A Complete Guide

For individuals who are getting into exercise, fitness, and physical activity, can knowing how glycogen… Read More

How to Keep Your Intervertebral Discs Healthy and Strong

For individuals who are dealing with back pain and problems, could knowing how to improve… Read More

Food Poisoning and Gut Health: What You Need to Know

Can knowing which foods to eat help individuals recovering from food poisoning restore gut health?… Read More

Recovering from a Dislocated Hip: What You Need to Know

Can knowing treatment options for a dislocated hip help individuals expedite rehabilitation and recovery? Dislocated… Read More

Acupressure: Activating Acupoints for Holistic Health and Wellness

Can incorporating acupressure provide effective relief and benefits for individuals looking to try natural treatments… Read More

Periscapular Bursitis: A Comprehensive Guide for Recovery

For individuals experiencing shoulder and upper back pain, could periscapular bursitis be a possible cause?… Read More

Preventing Wrist Injuries: The Role of Wrist Protection

For individuals who lift weights, are there ways to protect the wrists and prevent injuries… Read More

Improving Quality of Life: Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Options

Certain neurological disorders can cause acute episodes of peripheral neuropathy, and for individuals diagnosed with… Read More

Managing Back Pain: Exploring Surgery and Chiropractic

For individuals experiencing back pain from a herniated disc, can understanding the difference between surgery… Read More

Navigating Spinal Stenosis: Available Treatment Approaches

Spinal stenosis is the term used to describe a narrowing spine. Treatments vary because everybody's… Read More

The Benefits of Lumbar Traction for Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

For individuals experiencing or managing low back pain and/or sciatica, can lumbar traction therapy help… Read More

Craniosacral Therapy: A Natural Approach to Pain Relief

For individuals suffering from neck pain and headaches, can craniosacral head massage therapy help provide… Read More