Massage Therapy for Sciatica

What causes Sciatica?

Sciatica the condition is more common than you would think. The problem often originates in the lower back or lumbar area. Often there is a weakness in this area and in some cases an old injury.

A slipped, bulging or herniated disc can be the culprit and medical help will be needed to prescribe anti-inflammatories or in some cases unfortunately surgery to stabilise the disc.

The weakness to the lumbar area causes pressure to the pelvic area and in turn the muscles to the buttock, in particular the glutes and the piriformis muscle go into spasm. These muscles then in effect ‘strangle’ the sciatic nerve.

In some instances a strain to the upper back or thoracic region can put pressure on lower back causing pain and in turn sciatica. A simple task such as bending down or twisting to put on a seat belt can trigger the condition.

What are the symptoms of Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve runs down the leg causing pain to be referred along the back of the leg, side of the calf muscles and sometimes causes tingling to the foot.

The pain or discomfort can be a dull ache or sometimes a sharp pain to the lower back or pelvic area and in particular the buttock.

How can Sciatica be treated?

Sports Massage techniques to the glutes and piriformis muscle are an effective way to alleviate muscle spasm and release the nerve. Additionally, the G5 massage machine is most effective in getting to the deep muscle tissues to release the spasm.

The trick with sciatica is to catch it early which means ideally in the first few days or even few weeks of discomfort. Sports Massage typically works within three visits but if the discomfort pain is not completely gone thereafter I would suggest a session with a local reputable chiropractor who may need to use manual manipulation to the area.

If left for months, and in some cases I have seen sciatica left for years, this results in long term and sometimes permanent nerve damage leaving numb areas especially to the foot. It is also a lot harder to treat when left this long.

What can you do to help yourself?

I give my clients a selection of approved sciatica stretches used too by chiropractors and physiotherapists to alleviate the muscle spasms.

Additionally, avoid long periods of prolonged sitting as this only puts pressure on the nerve. And avoid long hot baths as although they may seem soothing it can aggravate an already inflamed area.

About The Author

Mia Beauclair is a fully qualified Massage Therapist located in Warwick, Warwickshire. She typically sees clients from the surrounding areas of Kenilworth, Leamington Spa and Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Find out more about Mia’s work by visiting her GoToSee profile page here

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