Sciatica is characterized by pain in the buttocks that that often radiates down the outer and back leg and possibly even to the toes. If left alone, sciatica can be very debilitating. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, arising from the lower portion of our spinal cord and following the same pathway through the leg that typical pain patterns occur. The sciatic nerve runs through so much of our body, it’s no wonder having sciatica can be such a literal pain.
The sciatic nerve performs many functions for the body, such as giving strength to your legs and controlling its reflexes. When the sciatic nerve is squeezed and/or damaged, these functions may be impeded. Sciatica symptoms can range in its severity and have the potential to keep people from doing their normal activities for a long while. But, massage therapy can help alleviate the pain caused by sciatica and make it both possible and likely for you to function normally. Actually, one of the most common reasons people seek massage therapy treatment is to relieve sciatic pain.
As an important part of the massage treatment to eliminate sciatic pain, your massage therapist works to loosen up the lower back muscles known to impact your nerve roots, and addresses the muscles of the hip and thigh to further free up the sciatic nerve.
Massage is also known to cause endorphins to release and spread throughout the body. These endorphins fight and reduce pain you may be experiencing as a result of sciatica. Additionally, massage therapy can also increase the flow of naturally occurring chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine, serotonin and endorphins all assist in healing the body, promoting a sense of calm and helping you feel better overall.
As always, massage is best when you continue treatment regularly. Although you may experience some relief from your sciatic pain with just one visit, it’s important to have regular massage therapy sessions to retain these effects and reap the maximum benefits from massage.
Image Credit: KDS4444 | Sciatic nerve2.jpg from Wikimedia Commons | License: CC-BY-SA 4.0