A groundbreaking new study published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine has demonstrated that electro-acupuncture actually stimulates sciatic nerve regeneration. We have known for years that acupuncture speeds the healing process in sciatica patients. This research, however, shows that the healing from acupuncture goes much deeper. Researchers concluded that electro-acupuncture restored motor function and stimulated a rapid recovery. The results also showed that electro-acupuncture assisted in the recovery from “neuropathic pain that develops following a nerve injury.”
Acupuncture for Sciatic Nerve Pain
These results show that electro-acupuncture stimulation promotes sensory and motor nerve fiber regeneration and shortens the duration of recovery times following nerve injuries. The researchers concluded that “electro-acupuncture appears to be a valuable method to accelerate motor recovery and alleviate neuropathic pain symptoms that occur after nerve crush.” The study also concluded that acupuncture is an efficient treatment for pain related to damaged nerves.
Background To Sciatic Nerve Study
The improvement of axonal regeneration is a major objective in the treatment of peripheral nerve injuries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of electro-acupuncture on the functional recovery of sensorimotor responses following left sciatic nerve crush in mice.
Methods of Nerve Study
Sciatic nerve crush was performed on seven week old female mice. Following the injury, the control group was untreated while the experimental group received an electro-acupuncture application to the injured limb under isoflurane anesthesia at acupoints GB 30 and GB 34. Mechanical and heat sensitivity tests were performed to evaluate sensory recovery. Gait analysis was performed to assess sensorimotor recovery.
Results showed that normal sensory recovery was achieved within five to six weeks with a two-week period of pain preceding the recovery to normal sensitivity levels. While electro-acupuncture did not accelerate sensory recovery, it did alleviate pain-related behaviour but only when applied during this period. Application before the development of painful symptoms did
not prevent their occurrence. The analysis of gait in relation to the sensory tests suggests that the electro-acupuncture specifically improved motor recovery.
This groundbreaking study indicates that electro-acupuncture is a valuable treatment for accelerating motor recovery from peripheral nerve damage and alleviating neuropathic pain symptoms that occur after damage to the sciatic nerve.
CLICK HERE to watch a short video describing how we treat sciatic nerve pain with acupuncture.