I recently had the opportunity to treat a new patient who came to me with some serious sciatic pain.? This is a very common condition that occurs when the long sciatic nerve gets compressed due to lumbar disc herniation, inflammation, or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column causing pressure on the spinal cord or nerves leaving the spine.)? This condition can result in excruciating back pain that can refer down the leg, and into the foot. Many people suffer from back pain, and acupuncture is a reliable, safe and effective treatment.
What many people don’t realize is that this situation has the potential to develop into a more serious condition.? When other symptoms present with sciatic pain such as weakness in the muscles of the lower extremities, difficulty with urination or bowel movement, or loss of sensation in the pelvic region, the sciatica is no longer the first concern.
My new patient was experiencing changes in bladder habits and that raised a red flag for me.? All Chinese medicine practitioners have considerable education in recognizing serious medical conditions and I knew that my patient needed emergency care, not acupuncture.? After a visit to the emergency room, the patient was admitted and underwent a surgical procedure (laminectomy) to correct the nerve impingement.? Had this not been done, irreparable damage to the nerve may have resulted.? This could mean a lifetime of urinary incontinence,? foot drop, or worse.
My patient is recovering from this surgery quite well, with the help of acupuncture to ease lingering symptoms.? This story is a follow-up to the last blog post (Experiencing Pain? Act Quickly!) and is related in a way.? Had this patient waited, serious consequences may have resulted.
I am always happy when there is a good outcome to a condition and I am so pleased to? be a part of a patients proper care.