What is Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Sciatica is the term used to describe the discomfort along the sciatic nerve. This nerve expands from your lower back, through your hips and buttocks, and also down each leg.
Sciatic nerve pain commonly affects only one side of your body. Pain can vary in severity from moderate to severe. It's usually accompanied by various other symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness in the damaged leg as well as foot.
Sciatica can affect your every-day activities and also make standing, walking, as well as sitting painful. If you want to try an alternative to typical painkillers, massage therapy can be a good option. It will not treat the underlying cause of your sciatic nerve pain, but it may provide some temporary relief for your pain.
Benefits of Massage for Sciatica
Massage treatment is an effective way to eliminate discomfort. A 2014 research found that deep tissue massage may be as good as NSAIDs for relieving lower back pain. Lower back pain can be a symptom of sciatic nerve pain.
For sciatica, massage therapy can help in 2 ways. Massage's significant benefit is soothing tense muscles. When your muscles are stiff, they can put even more pressure on your nerves, including your sciatic nerve. Massaging these strained muscles may help to decrease stress on your sciatic nerve.
Massage boosts the release of endorphins. So soft tissue massage therapy might also help to increase your discomfort threshold. Endorphins raise satisfaction and also soothe pain, triggering an enhanced feeling of well-being. They are additionally released throughout sex, workout, as well as eating.
Massage treatment provides a promising way to help ease your sciatica pain with a combination of:
- Relaxing tight muscles;
- Improving blood circulation;
- Reducing stress;
- Promoting a better recovery environment.
What is the Most Effective Type of Massage for Sciatica?
There are several kinds of massage treatments. There isn't much proof that one type of massage is better for sciatica pain than another. So selecting one comes down to individual preference. There are several the most common:
- Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage treatment is an aggressive form of massage. It uses slow strokes and deep finger pressure to release tension from your muscles and connective tissues.
A 2014 medical study discovered that a 30-minute session of deep tissue massage five days a week over two weeks was found to treat lower back pain, including sciatic nerve pain effectively.
- Swedish massage
Swedish massage does not use as much pressure as deep tissue massage. Instead, flowing, kneading movements stimulate nerve endings in your connective tissue as well as raise blood circulation. It likewise helps to release general tension and also promotes relaxation.
- Neuromuscular massage
Neuromuscular massage uses innovative massage therapy techniques. It integrates deep tissue pressure and friction to release contracted muscles as well as soothe tension.
- Myofascial release
Myofascial launch is a procedure used to ease the discomfort that originates from your myofascial tissues. These are the tough membrane layer that surrounds and also supports your muscles.
Stiff trigger points - stationary areas within the myofascial tissues, cause pain, and also stiffness. Focused pressure and stretching on the trigger points help to decrease pain and even stiffness.
- Hot stone massage
Hot stone massage therapy is used to promote relaxation and soothe strained muscles. Heated rocks are put on specific parts of your body. Likewise, stones can be held by a massage specialist while he or she performs Swedish massage therapy techniques.
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How do I Find a Massage Therapist?
If you would like to try massage therapy for sciatic nerve pain relief, it is essential to choose a qualified massage specialist. He or she should have experience in dealing with sciatic nerve pain symptoms.
To find a massage therapist, you can:
- ask your physician for a recommendation;
- ask family members or friend for a referral;
- search the American Massage Therapy Association's database;
- use the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork's database.
Here are some points to think about when picking a massage therapy specialist:
1. Your personal preference. Does the gender of the massage therapy specialist matter to you? Some people are much comfier with therapists of the same sex.
2. Area. Select a massage therapy specialist whose practice is close by or easy to reach.
3. Hours. You intend to ensure that they offer appointments throughout hrs that work with your schedule.
4. Cost. Ask how much they charge per session. Also, learn about any type of cost-saving incentives, such as a sliding-scale alternative.
5. Qualifications. Make sure the specialist you pick is licensed to practice massage therapy in your state. Most states regulate the massage treatment occupation. Be sure to inquire about their credentials.
6. Type of massage. Some massage therapists learn numerous types of massage, while others focus a one or two massages. Ask what types of massage therapy they're most qualified in.
7. Experience treating sciatic nerve pain. Talk with your massage therapist about your sciatic nerve pain and ask if they have experience in treating sciatic pain.
Before your first session, make sure to tell them about any other health problems you have. You might also want to check in with your health insurance provider. Some cover massage therapy, especially for an underlying condition.
The Effects of Massage on Nerves and Soft Tissues
Depending on the type of massage, a specialist might work with your muscles, joints, nerves, and/or layers of connective tissue deep below your skin.
A massage can lead to the following changes in your body, easing the sciatica pain:
- Loosen up as well as relax muscles. When your trunk, core, and also lower back muscles are tight, they can put pressure on the sciatic nerve root(s) in your lower back. Tight muscles may also get knotted up into tiny uncomfortable nodules, causing trigger point discomfort. Massage therapy can successfully extend, loosen, and extend these muscles. It decreases pain as well as function in your lower back and legs.
- Facilitate the flow of healing nutrients. Hands-on soft tissue manipulation from massage therapy improves the blood vessels in your skin as well as deeper tissues. There is enhanced circulation of blood, oxygen, and also other nutrients to the sore areas, promoting healing.
- Release endorphins. Massage therapy promotes specific pressure receptors in your brain, which are unique nerve fibers. Stimulation of these pressure receptors helps in reducing discomfort by releasing endorphins, the body's natural feel-good hormone.
- Reduce stress. Stimulation of the pressure receptors likewise helps reduce the levels of cortisol in your body - the hormone that causes stress. Minimized stress helps provide a feeling of relaxation and alleviation, with a lesser perception of pain.
Some therapists may utilize aromatic or essential oils to massage into your skin. Some of these oils might have a therapeutic effect on tissues and help reduce pain. The scent from these oils also helps provide an overall relaxed feeling. If particular types of scents trouble you, inform your specialist before you start the massage.
Massage therapies are generally secure when performed by a qualified expert. Rarely, increased discomfort, soreness, stiffness, and/or damage to blood vessels and/or nerves might happen from the dynamic application of pressure.
You can also massage your back using tennis balls and topical drugs or lotions. A few easy pointers consist of:
- Put two tennis balls next to each other and secure them with duct tape. Put the secured balls under your back, buttock, or upper thigh while you lie on the floor and carefully move around to locate sore muscle groups. When you determine a tender spot, focus, and press the area delicately.
- Press a tennis ball in between your chair and lower back to relax tight back muscles.
- Use topical medicated lotions or gels on your rear pelvic area and massage with firm pressure.
Massage treatment can be a fundamental part of your sciatic nerve pain treatment plan. It provides you with temporary, however effective discomfort relief. It stimulates your body to generate natural pain-relieving hormones and improves the body's healing capabilities. Massage therapy can also offer an overall relaxing and pleasant experience.