The medical term of tailbone pain is coccydynia. It is caused by inflammation of tail bone area. It presents with pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone between the buttocks. The pain is often worsened by sitting. Tailbone pain is often caused by an injury, such as sitting for a long time or bike rides, but it may have unknown causes. Vaginal birth in women sometimes is the cause tailbone pain. The coccyx or pelvic bones injury is a risk factor and obesity is also a risk factor for getting tailbone pain. Secondary tailbone pain includes sciatica, infection such as shingles of the buttocks, pilonidal cysts, sacroiliitis, and fractured bone. The major symptoms are pain and local tenderness at the tailbone. This can lead to difficulty sitting or leaning against the buttocks. Along with the pain with sitting, there is typical tenderness at the tailbone area. Treatments include rest and sitting on a pillow, cushion, or buttock support; avoiding reinjury to the affected area, anti-inflammatory pain killers; cortisone injection; physical therapy with exercises and last not the least acupuncture.
Slipped disc treated with acupuncture
A slipped disc or prolapsed or herniated disc is a condition in which the disc in the spine is torn and the central part inside leaks out. It causes chronic back pain. The pain is often begins in the lower back and over time it spreads to other parts of the body. Sometime there is no symptom. This is because the slipped part of the disc is small which will not affect nerves or spinal cord. If sciatic nerve is affected the pain could travel from the back of the pelvis, through the buttocks and down the legs to the feet. It could be also accompanied with numbness, tingling sensation in legs. Muscle paralysis, muscle spasms and urinary incontinence are also common symptoms. If the nerves at the very bottom of the spinal cord become compressed, it causes cauda equina syndrome. The symptoms include lower back pain, numbness in the groin area, paralysis of one or both legs, rectal pain, bowel disturbance, inability to pass urine or incontinence and pain in the inside of the thighs. The interventions for slipped discs include acupuncture, advice to stay active, analgesics, antidepressants, bed rest, corticosteroids (epidural injections), cytokine inhibitors (infliximab), discectomy (automated percutaneous, laser, microdiscectomy, standard), exercise therapy, heat, ice, massage, muscle relaxants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), percutaneous disc decompression, spinal manipulation, and traction.
A recent study has shown that acupuncture had better effects than that of Fugui Gutong capsule and ibuprofen for slipped disc. The scores of clincial symptoms and therapeutic effect were observed before and after treatment. Results In the electroacupuncture group, the effective rate was 84.4% (38/45), which was superior to that of 65.0% (26/40) in the medication group. After treatment, the scores of symptoms significantly decreased in the two groups, and the reduction of scores in electroacupuncture group was superior to that in medication group.
Which acupuncture points are used to treat slipped discs? A study analysed data from recent 10 years. They found 49 main acupuncture points from 173 studies. there were 10 most common used acupoints on Bladder Meridian [Geshu (BL 17), Xiaochangshu (BL 27), Shenshu (BL 23), Dachangshu (BL 25), Pangguangshu (BL 28), Guanyuanshu (BL 26), Weizbong (BL 40), Zhibian (BL 54), Chengshan (BL 57), Kunlun (BL 60)], 2 on Gallbladder Meridian [Huantiao (GB 30), Yanglingquan (GB 34)], 2 on Governor Vessel [Yaoyangguan (GV 3), Shuigou (GV 26)], 2 on Stomach Meridian [Zusanli (ST 36), Juliao (ST 3)], 2 on Spleen Meridian [Sanyinjiao (SP 6), Xuehai (SP 10)], and the rest were extra points (Huatuo Jiaji) and Ashi points, so a conclusion could be drawn that the most common used acupoints were Bladder Meridian acupoints and supplemented by Gallbladder Meridian, Governor Vessel, Stomach Meridian, Spleen Meridian, extra points and Ashi points. The selected acupoints were most located on the lumbosacral region, leg and fewer located on the face, back and local part.
Acupuncture is effective for sciatic pain.
Sciatica is pain caused by irritating sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and it runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at your feet. Sciatic pain can range from being mild to very painful and may last just a few days or for months. The pain of sciatica radiates out from the lower back, down the buttocks and into one or both of the legs, right down to the calf. The pain often gets worse over time and may also be made worse by: sneezing, coughing or laughing, standing or sitting for a long period of time, bending backwards. The accompanied symptoms can include numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, loss of tendon reflexes. The study was funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment program compared clinical effectiveness of management strategies for sciatica and it has shown that there was a statistically significant improvement following disc surgery, epidural injections, nonopioid analgesia, manipulation, and acupuncture. This study has provided new data to assist shared decision-making. The findings support the effectiveness of nonopioid medication, epidural injections, and disc surgery. They also suggest that spinal manipulation, acupuncture, and experimental treatments, such as anti-inflammatory biological agents, may be considered. The findings do not provide support for the effectiveness of opioid analgesia, bed rest, exercise therapy, education/advice (when used alone), percutaneous discectomy, or traction.
How can acupuncture help sciatic pain? First of all acupuncture increasing sciatic nerve blood flow was suggested. Secondly acupuncture improves nerve conduction. Finally acupuncture resumes brain activity in patients with sciatica.
Acupuncture reduces leg pain
Leg pain can be mild that comes and goes, or severe that makes it difficult to sleep and walk. The pain is often described as aching, throbbing or burning and it can be accompanied by numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. Leg pain can develop from leg injury, over exercise, tear or overuse. Problems that affect the blood vessels can also cause leg pain. These include peripheral arterial disorder, inflammation of a vein or blood clot etc. Another common cause of leg pain is the problem of low back where the nerve to the leg originates and then travels to the legs. For leg pain treatments, finding the cause is important and treatments depend on the causes. Acupuncture is used for the leg pain management.
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