Massage for Sciatica
Rowena Croft - Remedial Massage Therapist
If the sciatic nerve is damaged, it could result in numbness, tingling and in more severe cases, weakness in the knees or legs. The longer it is left untreated, the longer it will take for numbness and weakness to go away and they may become permanent.
Massage therapy helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain by addressing:
Tight lower back muscles can place stress on your nerve roots. ... A massage encourages the release of pain-fighting endorphins—this can provide temporary relief from symptoms like the throbbing pain in your foot or the burning sensation in your leg.
The effects of massage on nerves and soft tissues:
Depending on the type of massage, a therapist may work on your muscles, joints, nerves, and/or layers of connective tissue deep below your skin. A few examples of massage techniques include deep tissue massage, trigger-point therapy, and neuromuscular therapy.
A massage can cause the following changes to occur in your body, easing the sciatica pain:
- Loosen and relax muscles. When your trunk, core, and lower back muscles are tight, they can apply pressure on the sciatic nerve root(s) in your lower back. Tight muscles may also get knotted up into small painful nodules, causing trigger point pain. Massage therapy can effectively stretch, loosen, and elongate these muscles, improving pain and function in your lower back and legs.
- Facilitate the circulation of healing nutrients. Hands-on soft tissue manipulation from massage stimulates the blood vessels in your skin and deeper tissues. There is enhanced circulation of blood, oxygen, and other nutrients to the sore areas, promoting healing.
- Release endorphins. Massage stimulates specific pressure receptors in your brain, which are special nerve fibres. Stimulation of these pressure receptors helps reduce pain by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormone.
- Reduce stress. Stimulation of the pressure receptors also helps reduce the levels of cortisol in your body—the hormone that causes stress. Reduced stress helps provide a feeling of relaxation and relief, with a lesser perception of pain
Some therapists may use aromatic oils or essential oils to rub into your skin. Some of these oils may have a therapeutic effect on tissues and help reduce pain. The scent from these oils also helps provide an overall relaxed feeling. If certain types of scents bother you, inform your therapist before you start the massage.
Massages are usually safe when performed by a trained professional so come into The Healthy Guru to discuss your treatment plan with Rowena Dip Rem Massage Therapist.