woman in bed with sciatica back pain

Sciatica Pain and & Ways to Treat it

So what exactly is sciatica? 

Sciatica is defined as pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back. It’s most commonly known to cause pain, tingling, or numbness going down the leg from the lower back. It can be present on only one side of the body or both. The pain can also be down the front, back or side of the leg.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body and pain usually goes away on its own within two months. Of course, there may be ways to alleviate the pain sooner.

Common Forms of Treatment

There are numerous treatment options for sciatica based on the origin of the problem. Treatments include, but are not limited to:

    • Ice or Heat
    • Exercise
    • Yoga
    • Pilates
    • Chiropractic Care
    • Pain Relievers
    • Physical Therapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Acupressure
    • Medication
    • Surgery
    • Massage

Guess which method I’m partial to? Massage! Yes, of course, the massage guy suggests massage. Well, excuse me for suggesting something that’s been proven effective. It sure beats becoming reliant on medication, continuing to live in pain, or having to go through surgery. Of course you’re welcome to try out the other forms of treatment to see which works best for you. You can practice self-massage techniques or seek the help of a professional massage therapist.

A 2014 study even found that deep tissue massage may be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Massages can be extremely effective in helping you lessen your sciatica pain in numerous ways. For example, massage for sciatica pain can aid in the release of endorphins, which act as natural pain killers, help loosen tight back and leg muscles, and promote blood circulation to those inflamed areas. When you get a massage, its biggest benefit is soothing your tense muscles. When your muscles are tense, they can put more pressure on your nerves, including your sciatic nerve. Massaging these areas may help to minimize the pressure on that nerve. A 2014 study even found that deep tissue massage may be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for relieving low back pain, which is a common symptom of sciatica.

When searching for the right massage therapist to help with your sciatica, you can ask your doctor or other healthcare professionals for a recommendation. Ensure that the the therapist has experience in working with people with your condition. Read reviews on sites like Yelp and make sure to verify the massage therapist has had proper training. Some massage courses are less rigorous and thorough than others. You wouldn’t want someone inexperienced to make your condition worse.