If you have ever suffered from sciatica, you know that it can make you extremely uncomfortable. The shooting pain that can start in your back and work its way through your glute and down your leg can make almost any position painful. Walking, laying down or even sitting can cause pain. It’s rarely found in both legs at the same time, most find they have one leg that predominantly aches from sciatica. The pain can be either on the front, back or side of the leg. Often doctors prescribe pain medication and 90% of the time the issue resolves itself within six weeks.
Many people experience sciatica at some point in time during their lives. There are many different conditions that can cause it. A number of women end up with sciatica during pregnancy as the babies head begins to pinch the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can start suddenly if you have lifted something heavy, especially while twisting. Other common causes are obesity or sitting often, especially those driving for a long time.
The sciatic nerve is actually the longest nerve in your body and is the cause of all that discomfort. Sciatica can have many different causes, but it is usually caused by herniated or degenerated discs in the back. Surgery is normally suggested if the pain is severe or lasts for more than six weeks. There are a number of things that can be done in order to relieve discomfort for those who aren’t having a severe case. Sometimes sciatica can be caused by tight muscles which can irritate the nerve.
Mayo Clinic suggests dealing with sciatica by doing things that will release endorphins, which are your bodies natural painkillers. Low impact exercise like bike riding, yoga, or water aerobics can do this, even if it may not seem like a good idea because of the pain. Another great way to release endorphins is massage.
Endorphins are the reason you feel so relaxed during a massage. As your massage therapist kneads your muscles, your body releases endorphins into your bloodstream. As those endorphins make their way through your body, your brain realizes what’s going on and releases even more. This makes you feel calm and blissful. This is why massage is such a great help for things like anxiety and depression.
If your sciatica is caused by tight muscles in your lower back, a massage can help those muscles relax. This will reduce any pinching or irritation going on. While massage isn’t going to cure your sciatica, it can give some relief. Other things to consider are hot and/or cold packs and stretching.
If you are suffering from sciatica, our massage therapists at Moonstone Massage Therapy here in Winston-Salem would love to help! Our massage therapists care about their clients and will take great care of you on your visit. Let us know when you come in that you are dealing with sciatica and we can make sure to use techniques in order to help you find some relief from your symptoms.