Q. i have had a slight (chronic) discomefort in my bum whilstdriving for the past 3-4 years.started playing squash again after a couple of years off, first 5-6 games fine, last one agonising. pain in the bone i sit on. internet says ISCHIAL TUBEROSITY which is 99% correct.would accupuncture be any good?
A. The first thing a medical practitioner of any persuasion would have to do would be to establish exactly what was causing the pain you are experiencing. The fact that it has come on after a renewed burst of heavy exercise would normally point in the direction of some kind of muscular strain or tear, or inflammation of a tendon or ligament. Spending a long time sitting in a fixed position with the pressure of the ischial tuberosity on an inflamed area would certainly be capable of generating some fairly intense pain. However, pain can be referred in all sorts of ways, and the sciatic nerve might have been affected higher up in the lower back with the pain manifesting in the buttock.
A BAcC member will generally spend a good deal of time trying to elicit what type of pain it is, where it is felt, what makes it feel better or worse, and so on, both to get a sense of the western pathology which this most likely represents and to inform the treatment strategy which they will adopt from a Chinese medicine perspective. BAcC members are required to work closely with orthodox healthcare professionals and with other complementary therapists, and if in the practitioner's point of view there is something which needs to be investigated further by X-ray or something which manipulation may help to correct quickly, you may be referred to a doctor or osteopath. If not, the practitioner will give you an honest assessment of whether he or she thinks they can help you.
There is a growing body of evidence for the use of acupuncture for pain, for sciatic pain in particular and for musculo-skeletal conditions, although most of this research originates in China and is regarded as methodologically unsound at the moment. Our factsheets on the BAcC homepage under 'research' and 'factsheets' will give you a detailed breakdown of the current evidence and its index of reliability. In this particular case, if you decide to go ahead with treatment, it is probable that you may be asked to stop playing squash for a while to give the problem a chance to recover