Massage Techniques for Sciatica

Sciatica is a cruel pain in the leg, usually the back of the leg, caused by irritation of the nerve roots which in turn excites the spine that form the sciatic nerve.

Common causes of sciatica include:

  • Piriformis syndrome—The sciatic nerve can get irritated as it runs under or through the piriformis muscles.
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction—Irritation of the sacroiliac joint can also irritate the L5 nerve, which lies on top of it, and cause sciatica-type of pain.
  • Lumbar herniated disc—A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner core of the disc extrudes through the fibrous outer core this places pressure on the nerve root as it exits the spine; this is sometimes referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc, or a pinched nerve.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis—This condition involves a narrowing of the spinal canal. It is more common in adults over age 60, and typically results from enlarged facet joints placing pressure on the nerve roots as they leave the spine.

Symptoms of sciatica:

Symptoms may vary depending on where the nerve is compressed, they can include:

  • Usually, sciatica only affects one side of the lower body.
  • The pain often radiates from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg.
  • The pain may also radiate to the foot or toes.
  • Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the buttocks
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

Massage Therapy and Bodywork for Sciatica:

Massage therapy and bodywork can help Sciatica, Sciatic Nerve Pain, and conditions which mimic sciatica.

Massage therapy can help relax muscles, release trigger points and abnormal tissue adhesions, and improve posture to relieve the pressure on nerve roots and other sensitive structures.

Depending on your individual condition, massage therapy and bodywork may provide significant long-lasting relief.

Massage Therapy for the treatment:

  • First massage

Use a Tennis Ball

The knots in the muscles of the hip and buttock can be effectively treated with a tennis ball. Simply lie on a tennis ball such that it presses on deep, sore points and just wait for the feeling to fade. However please be aware that the piriformis muscle is so unusually reactive and the use of a tennis ball to massage the piriformis needs to be gentle and conservative.

  • Second Massage

Both hands are laid flat on the back of the thigh; long sweeping strokes are made, the hands working simultaneously. These are repeated many times.

  • Circular effleurage.
  • No. 1 repeated.
  • Kneading inner and outer aspect of thigh.
  • No. 1 repeated.