Discover Effective Sciatic Relief With Massage Therapy

Sciatica is a condition that can be uncomfortable to acutely painful. The term is often used to describe pain in the lower back involving the sciatic nerve as the cause of the pain and debilitation.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in our bodies and a compression at any point along its path can cause symptoms. Usually when the nerve is compressed the buttocks area is affected as well as the back of the leg.

The condition can be caused by a herniated disc or muscle entrapment. The pain can radiate in the whole area of the buttocks and in most cases, down either the right or left leg, but not both at the same time.

Common sensations felt are numbness and tingling. Also, depending on the degree of compression and irritation of the nerve, it can become unbearable to sit, stand or move at all. Sciatica does not go away by itself and if the source of the problem isn’t addressed, it may improve but doesn’t usually completely go away.

Can massage therapy help alleviate sciatica?
There may be structural problems such as a herniated disc, spondylyolisthesis or even spinal stenosis that can be the cause of nerve compression. But there is always soft tissue affected that needs to relax and lengthen. In most cases, the muscles and connective tissues may be the main culprit, so massage can be very effective in not only relieving symptoms, but correcting the problem to restore normal function and get rid of the pain.

The Touch Research Institute in Miami has conducted a series of studies on the effects of massage on sciatica. One study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience by Theakston, Hernandez and Krasnegor in 2001, found that low back pain was measurably reduced and range of motion increased when massage therapy was implemented for sciatica. The massage sessions were measured against a group only using relaxation as their treatment.

Not only were the above changes made, the group that received massage observed less anxiety, depression as well as pain. They also were able to sleep better, which is a key factor in a better recovery.

Massage isn’t the only solution
Massage therapy can greatly assist in relieving soft tissue problems in combination with other therapies including well planned home care. For example, a multi step approach which includes chiropractic adjustments, specific massage therapy techniques for the low back and buttocks and a consistent stretching program at home, can get you feeling better and back on your feet quickly.

It’s important that you take action and do something about it, because rest, anti-inflammatories and pain medications seldom ever help for the long- term solution. Without the proper therapy, the problem will only get worse over time.

If you are experiencing sciatic symptoms, schedule an appointment to get the treatment needed to start seeing improvements and get out of your pain as soon as possible.