Can massage help sciatic pain?

Can massage help sciatic pain?

Firstly you need to understand something of why you are suffering sciatic pain. Sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated. There are a number of reasons why this can happen. A common one is caused by the piriformis pressing on the sciatic nerve.  In simple terms the job of the piriformis is to keep your hip neatly in place in its socket. If you run, walk a lot, spend hours sitting or driving your car, play golf, are a woman over 40, stand with your weight on one hip, are currently pregnant – the list goes on, then you are stressing your piriformis, it will become inflamed and press on your sciatic nerve causing sciatic pain, hence sciatica.

Equally problems with your lower back will irritate the sciatic nerve. This type of sciatica will often be accompanied by lower back pain. Properly known as radiculopathy, sciatica following the path of a spinal nerve root may be caused by damage to a disc.Therefore it is important to consult your doctor first because a doctor will be able to tell by examining you whether the sciatica is due to a herniated disk or piriformis syndrome. For quick reference,  sciatica caused by pressure from the piriformis is often worse when you are sitting down but less of a problem when you are standing or moving around but sciatica which is caused by herniation of a disc is eased by sitting down.

So, can massage help sciatic pain? If your sciatica is due to problems with your piriformis then definitely. A huge proprtion of the patients I treat at my massage practice in Ely Cambs have piriformis syndrome. It generally presents as pain in the buttock and may extend as far as the ankle, I would first check for a facet lock in your spine and if I suspect this may be the cause of your sciatic pain then I would refer you to one of the team of Osteopaths I work with at Ely Complementary Health Centre in order that it might be corrected. Once we are happy that all is fine with your spinal mobility then I can commence with the soft tissue work which will help to ease your symptoms and get you back to top form.

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