Sciatica is a painful medical condition that will interfere with day by day activities due to the excruciating pains that may also extend to your legs. While the treatment involves rest and lifestyle changes, surgery may also be needed for severe situations. If you can handle the treatment at home, massage for sciatica is also a good recommendation.
Regular massage will relax the tight muscles in the affected area and boost the blood circulation. At the same time, stress and pressure are successfully relieved. Overall, regular massages will promote a better and more efficient healing environment. Now, how exactly does this massage work and what options do you have?
Does massage help sciatica?
Massage is an effective way to relieve sciatica pain. Based on what type of massage you get, a therapist might work on nerves, tissues, joints or muscles.
1. Loosening muscles
If the cause of sciatica is in tight muscles around the sciatic nerve, a massage to release pressure will work wonders. Tight muscles can also cause pain by getting knotted. They can be elongated, loosened and stretched for maximum results.
2. Improving the blood circulation
A good blood circulation obviously involves more access to healing nutrients. Oxygen and other nutrients will reach the affected area and inevitably promote a faster recovery.
3. Boosting endorphins
A quality massage for sciatica will stimulate the pressure receptors around your brain. As a direct result, the body will release more endorphins – feel good hormones that will block painful sensations.
4. Reducing stress
Stimulating and massaging the pressure receptors in the sciatica affected area will reduce the stress and pressure, but also the overall stress in your body – lower levels of cortisol for instant pain relief.
It is worth noting that some therapists will rely on essential and aromatic oils – some of them are proven to work against sciatica, but their aromas will also improve relaxation. Generally speaking, such massages are safe when performed by someone with experience in sciatica treatments, yet you can also ask a friend or your partner to massage you gently.
Sciatica pain relief massage
There are more types of massage therapies and each of them will benefit the affected area in more ways – choosing the right one is often of personal preferences.
1. Deep tissue massage
A deep tissue massage may feel a bit aggressive at first, but it will release tension in no time. It is relatively slow and applies a decent amount of pressure. Half an hour a day – five times a week – will treat most types of pains.
2. Neuromuscular massage
Neuromuscular massages are more suitable for those with experience – a bit of research is needed for good results or just head to a professional. The massage is a mix of intense friction and deep tissue tension to relieve pain.
3. Swedish massage
The Swedish massage is relatively mild. It involves kneading and aims to stimulate nerves and boost the blood circulation. It promotes a relaxing stage through its flowing movements and can release pressure in half an hour only.
4. Hot stone massage
The hot stone massage should be done by a professional therapist – a bit of research can also make a good DIY option at home. Just get your partner or a family member to help. Heat some stones and place them on particular parts of the body – a bit of research is needed for the best positions.
5. Myofascial release massage
This type of technique gets its name from the myofascial tissues, which it relates to. These tissues tend to support muscles and can get stiff every now and then. Pain is directly associated with stiffness, so this is what the massage is about.
6. Massage techniques against sciatica pain
Now, you do not necessarily have to opt for a professional massage for sciatica – there are many types of massage you can do at home too, with no research at all. Here are some of the simplest things to try at home.
7. Thumb and palm massage
This massage is basic and implies following some simple rules – you can try doing it yourself, but having someone else do it will be better. The massager must start with the palms on the lower back. The pelvic region should be massaged downwards.
When it comes to the thumbs, a firm and consistent pressure must be applied on the spine, mostly towards the edges of the patient’s muscles. Thumbs should be around five inches apart. There should be enough pressure, but no discomfort at all.
8. Knuckle massage
The knuckle pressure is said to be extremely efficient for sciatica patients and does not require any training at all. You can do it yourself – lie on the back. Feet should be on the ground and knees must be bent. Get the hands on your lower back.
Clench hands and ensure the knuckles go against the back and palms face down. Fists should be anywhere between the lower back muscle and the spine. You do not need to move, but maintain this position – with just enough pressure to avoid discomfort – for around a minute.
9. Tennis ball massage
Grab that tennis ball from your dog and use it yourself. You can apply enough pressure on the lower back without feeling any pains. Sit down on the floor, bend your knees and ensure your feet are flat on the floor. The ball goes behind you.
Start reclining the body until your back is against the floor – the tennis ball should be where you feel the pain. Maintain the position for about a minute. Once the tension goes away, move the ball to another area and perform the same move. Take this massage a few times a day for longterm effects.
Suggested article: Tennis Ball Exercise For Sciatica – Top 3 Variations Explained
Bottom line, a massage for sciatica is actually a top recommendation from doctors. You can ask someone to massage you for a more comfortable experience – lots of therapists with experience in sciatica pains and lots of different techniques.
You can also do it yourself – there are numerous types of massages that you can do yourself, in the comfort of your bedroom.
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