Sciatica is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is very painful, and symptoms include burning,tingling or numbness in the legs. Sciatic pain can be treated with massage combined with stretching exercises to keep the area that the sciatic nerve from being compressed.
What causes sciatic pain?
The sciatic nerve is made up of several nerve roots coming into the sacral area at the lower back. This nerve can become trapped between a herniated disc and the tight muscle of the lower lumbar region. This is what causes the pain followed by the numbness. Since this nerve runs down the back of the thigh and lower leg it also causes leg pain. Prolonged pressure on this nerve over a long period of time can lead to nerve damage. Arthritis, pregnancy and carrying excess weight can also cause or contribute to sciatic pain.
Massage therapy helps to relax the muscles and generate blood flow to the area. The benefits include relieving muscle spasms and increased oxygen flow to the muscles. Massage will also relax the other muscle groups and keep the muscles stretched to prevent contracture. When the muscles are not stretched regularly they can shrink and tighten up. When muscles shrink it is called a contracture. This is why older men and women seem to shrink. Regular massage therapy sessions will help the muscles stay smooth and flexible and relieve pressure on other nerve points as well. In most cases massage combined with good chiropractic care is enough to relieve the pressure on the nerve and allow the person freedom from the pain. Surgery may be suggested as a last resort if these types of treatment are unsuccessful.