Sciatic pain can be a real pain in the butt! Nothing is worse than relentless and constant back and lower body pain. If you’ve noticed a tingly numbness or weakness down the side of the body or into your lower back, you could possibly be suffering from sciatica. Speak with a registered physician first about your pain and your options for care.
Sciatica can be a chronic and frustrating condition, and it can feel like there is no way to release it. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to consult with your doctor about the benefits of massage. Massage therapy can be a terrific option to help reduce pain and improve overall health.
How exactly does sciatic pain occur, and what are the best ways to help relieve pain?
What Is Sciatic Pain and How Does It Happen?
Sciatica is a medical term that refers to pain along the sciatic nerve. Your sciatic nerve is actually the longest and widest nerve in your body. It runs along your lower spine, through your pelvic region, and down to each of your legs. The sciatic nerve supplies both motor control and nerve sensation and due to this, sciatica can cause muscle weakness and nerve pain in your body.
The most common cause of sciatica is a slipped or herniated disc. A slipped disc occurs when a force pushes all or part of the disc through a weaker part of the spine. The disc’s pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause intense pain. Other possible causes of sciatica are spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, pelvic injury or fracture. In very rare cases, tumours or spondylolisthesis can be the source.
Luckily, there are options for the discomfort caused by sciatica, including several forms of massage therapy.
Types of Massages That Are Best for Sciatica
Massage therapy can be beneficial for muscle and nerve pain. During massages, you feel a sense of relaxation because of the release of endorphins. Endorphins help relieve pain and heighten pleasure and are also released during physical activity and eating.
Another advantage is that different techniques of massage therapy can help increase circulation. Circulation does not just include blood circulation but all fluids in the body. The lymphatic system circulates the body and can have blockages.
Finally, different types of massage techniques can help release tension and pain in the body from sciatica. There is no evidence that one massage technique is more effective than the other. Therefore, personal preference or speaking with your registered massage therapist (RMT) can be beneficial when choosing your massage type.
1. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage focuses on massaging the deep layers of muscles in your body and the connective tissues around the muscles. Sciatica can cause chronic deep pain in muscles, especially your lower back. This massage style has been shown to help improve chronic pain. During the massage, an RMT will apply pressure slowly and evenly on the muscles to lengthen and relax the tissue.
Due to the firm pressure, this type of massage can leave you feeling sore, but within 2-3 days, you will feel a deep sense of relaxation. Deep tissue massage is a relaxing treatment that works through tight muscles and sciatica pain. Overall, this massage style can help improve sciatica pain and more.
2. Myofascial Release Therapy
Myofascial release therapy works through myofascial tissue, which connects to the muscles in your body. Myofascial tissue is a fibrous and strong tissue that runs throughout the human body, protecting and supporting your muscles and bones.
During myofascial release treatment, an RMT starts with a gentler approach and will slowly search for any tightness or soreness throughout your body. Once the signs of stiffness are found, the RMT will apply steady and light pressure to work through the knots.
Typically, when sciatica flares up, it will tense your surrounding muscles and cause pain that, for some, can be immobilizing. Myofascial release focuses on the areas where your muscles have tensed and slowly work to release that strain.
3. Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger point therapy focuses on areas in your body considered to be trigger points. What exactly is a trigger point? A trigger point is a section of your body that is tense or tight. This area will radiate pain to other parts of your body whenever outside pressure is applied to the focal point.
These points occur in areas where the muscles can’t release tension. Trigger point therapy will work through these areas and help reduce the tightness and pain in the area. Trigger point therapy can help with sciatica flare-ups by reducing bodily stress, working through tense areas, and releasing helpful endorphins to promote relaxation.
While massage for sciatica is a relaxing, effective option, it may not be suitable for everyone. Alternatively, there are other ways to help sciatica pain if massage therapy is not an accessible option for you.
Other Ways to Help Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain
If you are unable to receive massage therapy or simply want to work on other ways to help your sciatic nerve pain alongside massage appointments, there are several options to consider. One of those options is to visit your physical therapist. Physiotherapy treatment can provide activities that also work to relieve discomfort caused by sciatica.
If you are looking for at-home help, tennis balls or massage rollers are great options. Tennis balls can work similarly to trigger point therapy. By pressing/rolling the spot of tension along the tennis ball, you can slowly relax and release the tightness of the surrounding muscles. Our therapists can help you determine the best at-home care routine for your condition.
We also recommend stretching the front of your body to help alleviate any muscle imbalances that could be contributing to your issue. Stretching and opening up your quads and hip flexors could give you some much needed relief.
Sciatica Pain Relief Massage Near Me
A therapeutic massage can encourage relaxation and release the tension of tight muscles. It’s essential to have an experienced registered massage therapist (RMT) perform these techniques. And always remember to breath through your treatment. If you can’t breath/talk through treatment, than the pressure is too aggressive and is likely doing more harm than good. Communication with your RMT is very important.
Trained hands can help relieve pain, and the professional therapists at Urban Massage & Wellness want to help you with your pain. If you are suffering from sciatica, book a massage today with our talented team.