Massage is recommended to help treat many health conditions but can massage therapy help sciatica? Below we look at some of the ways it can be used to relieve sciatica symptoms

If you suffer from sciatica, it’s important to identify the symptoms and causes of your condition and begin treatment. There are many causes of sciatica. If your muscle tightness is secondary to another cause of sciatica such as a slipped or herniated disk, then massage may make the condition worse.

On the other hand, if your sciatica is caused by specific muscle tightness, massage can help relieve symptoms. Massage is applied to the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet. Consult your doctor to be sure of the cause.

How Massage Therapy Helps Relieve Sciatica:

  • Massage does not generally resolve the underlying cause of your sciatica. It can be used to relieve the symptoms of sciatica including pain and inflammation.
  • Massage therapy can help reduce sciatic pain by helping relax the muscles around the lumbar (lower) spine.
  • Massage therapy can help reduce the pressure on your pinched sciatic nerve so relieving the pain.
  • Massage encourages the release of endorphins which help relieve pain. A study conducted in 2003 indicated that massage therapy reduces the intake of pain killers by as much as a third compared to other forms of treatment.
  • With massage therapy, the muscles along the sciatic nerve pathway are gently worked by a therapist. This helps increase blood circulation. As a result, the blood carries more oxygen and nutrients to the area so facilitate healing. Massage therapy also stimulates the lymphatic system. This helps the body flush out toxins, waste products and excess fluid and white blood cells from the inflamed area.
  • Muscular related sciatica can be caused by bad posture. This causes certain muscles to tighten and can lead to the sciatica nerve roots being pinched by the muscles. Massage therapy not only relaxes the muscles but also improves the tone of others which can help improve your posture.
  • When you’re in pain, other parts of our body try and compensate.  This can lead to tension in other areas than your leg or buttock area. Massage therapy applied to the areas affected by sciatica also has a beneficial effect on the rest of your body. The relaxing effect of massage will help reduce tension in all parts of your body.
  • The gluteal muscles (in your bottom) and the piriformis muscle can become contracted and shortened. Some types of massage therapy, such as deep massage, can help to lengthen these and give the sciatic nerve more space.
  • Massage therapy helps to break up tight hardened nodules in the muscles that make them thick and rope-like.

Massage is used to treat some types of sciatica. Although it doesn’t cure any underlying cause of the condition, massage therapy can help sciatica symptoms. You have two options, go to a massage therapist or look into getting a massage chair. Using a massage chair from the comfort of your own home, can be relaxing, rejuvenating and ease the pain.

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