Sciatica Massage Therapy
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a medical term used to explain symptoms that develop when the Sciatic nerve is compromised. Pseudo sciatica, which is the most common, occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the Piriformis (buttock) muscle. True sciatica occurs when one of the sciatic nerve roots is compressed when it exits the spinal column. The symptoms of sciatica include but are not limited to pain in the low back, buttocks and down the back of the leg. Numbness and tingling are also common symptoms and they follow the same pathway. Weakness can develop anywhere along this pathway because there is an interruption in the sciatic nerve transmission.
How to test for Sciatica
There are a variety of tests used to diagnose this condition. The first step is to go through a history of symptoms and activities with the client. Muscle and neurological tests are then done. An X-ray, CT Scan or MRI might be needed depending on the initial findings.
How to Treat Sciatica
Sciatica nerve pain is one of the most deceptive physical conditions to diagnose. An early sciatica symptom is a dull pain in the lower back or buttocks, something that is encountered by most of us as we participate in various physical activities. On the other hand, the back pain caused from damage to the Sciatica nerve can bring patients to disability.
Pseudo Sciatica is often effectively treated by massage therapy. Usually in one treatment you will notice a dramatic improvement in your symptoms. Some home care exercises are prescribed and if you follow them you should have no more symptoms.
True Sciatica responds extremely well to spinal decompression treatments.
If the real cause of sciatica pain can be determined and diagnosed in time, and treatment is followed through, Sciatic nerve heals itself and the pain is relieved. Below, we’ll take a look at the main prevention techniques of sciatica pain and how a holistic approach will help you take care of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica Pain Prevention
Once a specialist has diagnosed that the pain in your back, buttocks and legs is Sciatica nerve pain, your rest, recovery, and prevention program should include the following:
General Well Being: It is important for us to look at our bodies in the context of overall health. If the general body condition is healthy, it will heal nerve and muscle damage faster and better. So, review and evaluate your food intake to see if it is rich enough in nutrition, and includes all food groups. An increase in raw vegetables and fresh fruits will boost overall health of the body.
Posture: Posture is an important factor in the recovery and prevention of sciatica nerve pain. Please make sure that your back is straight when sitting, standing, walking or lifting. See the RMT Tip below for a simple way to make sure your back is straight.
RMT Posture Tip: While standing or sitting:
- Straighten your back, look straight ahead;
- Raise your arms up, palms out, breathing-in;
- Join your palms over your head;
- Look up; your joined hands are facing up, arms straight, hold breath;
- Still joined, bring your hands down to your chest, exhaling, looking ahead;
- Feel your base: Feet on the ground if standing; surface of the seat under the buttocks if sitting;
- Relax the muscles in your back, go all along the spine to the base of the neck;
- Enjoy the lightness of it.
Exercises: Choose gentle exercises, preferably performed in slow motion, such as Tai Chi and Yoga to stretch and strengthen back and leg muscles and strengthen the abdominal and pelvic muscles.
Massage Therapy: Massage therapy techniques revive damaged muscles and nerves. Depending on the cause of Sciatica pain, a massage therapy program devised for your unique body system will enhance the recovery effort. Massage therapy may work as a measure for pain relief, and as part of longer-term recovery and prevention program as it strengthens, for example, the abdominal and back muscles and relieves tightness of the Piriformis muscle.
If you experience any of the following, please contact your RMT or doctor:
- Numbness or muscle weakness in the lower back or anywhere along the path of Sciatic nerve;
- Tingling sensation, pins-and-needles feeling or loss of sensation in the leg, toes or feet;
- Sudden loss of bladder function or bowel movement;
- Pain commencing after a high-impact or traffic-related injury.
At Everest Therapeutics Inc., we see no better reward in life than helping our clients achieve their desired health goals. Whether it is healing from sciatic pain, preventative therapy, or relaxation, we are here to help. To book an appointment with an RMT click here.