A pinched sciatic nerve can cause debilitating pain, and many turn to anti-inflammatory drugs to help. Massage therapy can help as much, if not more.
According to a health study done by Harvard medical school, approximately 40% of people will suffer from sciatica pain at least once in their lifetime.
Sciatica pain can be excruciating and may lead to a lifetime dependency on medications, and equipment that just won’t work. Even worse, pain medications have side effects, which could lead to more pain.
Perhaps the biggest problem with sciatica pain is that many problems lead to sciatica, and not many people understand the root cause. Knowing the root cause of your sciatic nerve pain can help you to rid of it once and for all.
This is where the benefits of massage therapy come in. By releasing the tight muscles that surround the sciatic nerve, you are destined to be relieved of pain.
We’ve created this article to teach you all about the benefits of massage therapy for sciatic pain, keep on reading to learn how you can enjoy life again, pain-free!
Sciatica is the fancy term for pain in the sciatic nerve, which begins in the lower spinal column, separates at the tailbone, and runs down the back of each leg. The majority of the time, sciatica is caused by a compressed disk near the sciatic nerve, however, this is not always the case.
There are numerous origin and insertion points of the sciatic nerve, as it has five roots that originate in the lower spine, then weave together to form into the nerve.
Because of the various locations, sciatica pain is known to be one of the worst nerve pains because it can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, and each leg. The pain can be described as either radiating pain, numbing pain, needle-like pain, or difficulty moving or feeling the side of the leg.
Usually, sciatica is felt on only one side of the body, however, this is not always the case. If left untreated, sciatic pain can run down both sides of the body, leaving that person in debilitating pain.
Aside from a compressed disk, sciatic pain can also be caused by tight muscles that surround the nerve, commonly the piriformis muscle, which is near the gluteus muscles. It can also be caused by a bulged disk, a herniated disk, pregnancy, or other forms of trauma.
If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, you are more prone to sciatic pain. Women who are developing in pregnancy may experience periods of sciatic pain because the uterus puts extra pressure on the sciatic nerve as it expands.
Because sciatica can be caused by a series of structural problems, it is important to get to the underlying cause and release the pressure that is on the sciatic nerve. Thankfully, massage therapy is one of the best choices for relieving sciatic pain for this exact reason.
Massage therapy is much different than a spa massage, as a massage therapist must go through years of schooling to treat their clients properly. This education includes extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, along with pathology and studying human movement.
One study discovered that massage therapy has significant results in improving the symptoms of back pain in various patients. They found that massage therapy had equal or even better results when compared to using medications for the pain.
When your muscles are tight, they can become knotted and press on nerves, creating nodules, trigger point paints, and more. Massage therapists know how to work on the muscles that surround the sciatic nerve, which reduces the pressure on the nerve and ultimately relieving the pain.
When your body is in tension, it signals alerts to your brain that you are in danger, which releases stress hormones such as cortisol. Massage therapy reduces stress. Then, by relieving the tension in your body, you will begin to feel the relief of tension both in your sciatic nerve, and the rest of your body.
Tight and tense muscles are not able to function optimally, which means that metabolic waste can get stuck and cause symptoms such as fatigue. Thankfully, massage therapy helps to circulate the blood via stimulation, helping your body to remove waste.
This also helps your body to circulate nutrients easily, as nutrients can also become stuck without adequate circulation.
Massage therapy applies pressure to specific receptors in the body that release the secretion of endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural feel-good hormones and help to reduce pain. These hormones also help to improve your overall sense of well-being, happiness, and relaxation.
When it comes to sciatica, most massage therapists will know exactly what to do. If you are in search of a specialty massage, look for a sports massage therapist, which will know how to stretch and passively move your muscles through a sequence of movements.
Make sure you ask your massage therapist to instruct you on some at-home stretches, exercises, and movements that will help you to reduce the sciatica pain. You want to also notify your massage therapist of the exact symptoms you are experiencing, as the more that they know, the more they can help you.
Once you have read this complete guide on how massage therapy can help with sciatica pain, you are probably wondering how to get started.
First, if you have sciatica pain as a result of physical trauma, such as a car accident, make sure you get a doctor’s approval before trying any new therapy.