What is Sciatica and how does Massage help?
Massage Therapy and Fitness
by Pete Mascitelli Licensed Massage Therapist | October 15, 2019
Let's begin at the beginning
Well first, what is Sciatica? Simply it is pain emanating from your sciatic nerve which is the large nerve starts from your lower spine and branches down the length of each leg. The pain can be local to a region of your leg or shoot down its entire length. Pain from Sciatica can give you pause during your day to day routine or maybe even prevent your from holding your own body weight on the leg affected.
What causes the pain? Lots of factors, weight, being inactive, spine conditions, hemorrhoids, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, pregnancy, and age, and in my experience I see a lot of just muscle tension. All these factors cause pinching or compression to the sciatic nerve which sends the pain signals and neuropathy through the leg.
When someone comes to see me for Sciatica, I will ask some basic questions to help me figure out if I can help and how I can help. What are you feeling? Where is is emanating from? How far does the pain go? How often do you feel it? How long has it been going on? All these questions help me access the condition and develop a treatment.
Once in the room and I am working on you, I do some palpation to try to locate any muscle tension and I will do some preliminary Myofascial Release to help start loosening up the affected region. Generally I will start doing deep massage, working my way towards the focused spot that has the concentration of muscle tightness. After this I will probably go for the condensed tension areas with some focus deep tissue and or trigger point therapy. Once I work on an area, I’ll move to another region of your body, giving your muscles time to recover from the work I did on them. I may go back before we finish to check and see if there was anything I may have missed or if it needs any additional work at all.
When were are done, I’ll see how your feeling and what your feeling after my treatment. You may or may not have some instant gratification ~ everybody's body is different. Remember there is only so much work you can do in a single session in order to relieve tension to an affected area. Sometimes multiple sessions may be required. Over the years I have seen massage therapy definitely help as a treatment for dozens of people suffering from Sciatica.
If you are experiencing lower back pain, please reach out to Pete to discuss your options. Massage Therapy can be a fantastic way to alleviate pain in your back, and in other places on your body. Self-care should be your first investment and we're here to help!