If you have been living with sciatica for some time now, you’re well aware that it can intrude on your daily tasks and make simple tasks such as standing, sitting, and walking very challenging. Sciatica basically refers to pain in the sciatic nerve, which starts from the lower back and extends to your buttocks, hips, and legs. If you’re looking for other ways to relieve your pain other than pain medications, consider massage therapy. While it can’t treat your sciatica’s underlying cause, it may offer temporary pain relief.
How Massage Therapy Can Help Ease Sciatica Pain
Some studies have found that some forms of massage therapy might be as effective as pain medications for alleviating sciatica pain. Massage can ease your pain by soothing sore and tense muscles. Tense muscles place unnecessary pressure on your sciatic nerve and so addressing these muscles might help take pressure away from the sciatic nerve. In addition, massage therapy can help boost your pain tolerance by triggering your body to release endorphins, also known as happy hormones. The body also releases those feel-good hormones during eating, exercise, and sex. Basically, they ease the pain while increasing pleasure.
The Ideal Form of Massage to Reduce Sciatica Pain
During days that your Osaki massage chair just won’t cut it, you can opt to get a massage to pain relief. You can choose from different forms of massage therapy since there’s not much evidence to suggest that one form is better for sciatica pain relief than another. Below are the most common forms of massage therapy used to ease sciatica pain:
- Neuromuscular massage. This form of massage utilizes advanced techniques that combine friction and deep tissue pressure to alleviate tension and release tense muscles.
- Deep Tissue Massage. This is considered one of the more aggressive types of massage. It makes use of deep finger pressure and slow strokes for releasing tension from connective tissues and muscles.
- Myofascial Release. This massage technique is utilized for easing pain stemming from tense myofascial tissues, which are hard membranes that support and surrounds the muscles. Within your myofascial tissues are trigger points that are immoveable areas that can cause stiffness and pain. Stretching and placing focused pressure on stiff trigger points will help alleviate stiffness and pain.
- Swedish Massage. Unlike deep tissue massage, where deep pressure movements are used for tension release Swedish massage uses kneading, flowing movements for stimulating nerve endings and boosting blood circulation to ease sciatica pain. It likewise helps promote relaxation and general stress relief.
- Hot Stone Massage. This kind of massage is used for relieving muscle pain and promoting whole-body relaxation. It involves the use of heated stones being placed on certain body areas, while the massage therapist kneads and release built-up tension in your sore muscles.
It is, however, crucial to note that massage therapy will not treat the cause of your sciatica pain. It can, however, give you temporary relief from sciatica pain and improve your mobility and overall quality of life. Before getting a massage, though, consult your doctor to ensure that the massage therapy you choose won’t do more harm than good.