Are you suffering from sciatica? Do you have pain shooting down your buttocks and legs? Perhaps, you should consider massage as a treatment?
Sciatica is a relatively common condition. The good news is that if you are looking for pain relief from your sciatica, a good massage just might do the trick. There are a number of different kinds of massage, from chiropractic to Swedish and more. All of them have some benefits, but some are more applicable than others.
The Science of Sciatica Pain Relief and Massage
Sciatica is a fairly common form of lower back pain, or, rather, a common symptom of a deeper condition that needs to be treated. How common? Well, a November 2012 study in Healio reports that out of a study group of 674 adults who were 20 years old or older, 166 (24.65%) reported sciatica over a 6-month period.
Another study, found in Science Direct, determined that active manipulations (a kind of Chiropractic treatment) had a positive effect on sciatica with a disc protrusion.
Lastly, a case study, again from Science Direct, involving a patient with sciatica who was treated with massage therapy. This study found that the techniques used were effective at reducing and eliminating pain and other sciatica symptoms.
Does Massage Help Sciatica?
When you are in the grip of sciatica with pain shooting through your rump and down your leg, you may be wondering if anything can help relieve your agony. You may be surprised that massage can be an effective tool in your arsenal to get rid of sciatica pain.
Of course, there are many different kinds of massage (which we’ll get into later). One of the most effective is Chiropractic Massage. Chiropractors are experts in the musculoskeletal system. As a result, they are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat many issues involving persistent pain such as sciatica.
Chiropractic massage is just one of the tools in a chiropractor’s repertoire. It can help you with your sciatica and provide relief to the persistent pain sciatica can cause.
What Is Chiropractic Massage?
Chiropractic massage is a type of massage performed by a qualified massage therapist under the direction of a chiropractor. With chiropractic massage, the chiropractor can bring his/her expertise to bear to make the massage that much more effective at ameliorating the many issues that develop with sciatica.
The massage will help your muscles relax, increasing flexibility and lowering inflammation while reducing stress and pain caused by sciatica. A chiropractic massage can help trigger the release of endorphins in your body. These are natural painkillers that should bring further relief.
Many hospitals and doctors will treat sciatica with a simple prescription for painkillers. Although these may work for a time by covering up the pain, they do nothing to deal with the underlying cause of your problem.
Chiropractors have a number of options to address your sciatica – only one of which is chiropractic massage. Other treatment options include spinal adjustments, physical therapy, and other types of chiropractic care.
All of these options are non-invasive techniques that allow you to go about your daily life while being treated. There is no multi-week stint confined to a bed – which is likely to happen if you have surgery to deal with your sciatica.
And an added plus – these non-invasive conservative techniques build on each other so that if you implement, say, chiropractic massage, chiropractic care, and physical therapy – as in our proprietary Alaska Back Pain Protocol – you will find them to be more potent together than any one of them individually when it comes to treating your sciatica.
What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic Massage On Sciatica?
Massage, in general, and chiropractic massage in particular, has a whole slew of benefits for the chiropractic patient. At a general level, massage can help your body heal. It can stimulate the release of endorphins, it can break up scar tissue, and more – depending upon what type of massage you get.
There are no two ways about it: not only do they feel good, but massages are also good for you, too. Some of the benefits of a chiropractic massage on patients with sciatica are:
- It can relieve and even prevent sciatica pain
- It can help restore spinal alignment and posture, which in turn, can relieve your sciatic
- It can help heal and restore the central nervous system. This can help reduce the inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
- It can promote relaxation, wellness, and rest. All of which helps your sciatica.
- It can improve the relationship between your muscles and your spine – problems with which are often associated with sciatica
- Its effects are amplified when combined with other treatments
Finally, one of the best things about chiropractic massage is the fact that it is sometimes covered by insurance as a type of medical activity. And, if you are dealing with sciatica, it definitely constitutes a medical condition.
Dollar for dollar, it is far better for an insurance company to prevent a medical issue like sciatica with chiropractic care than it is to pay to fix one that just mushrooms from inattention.
What Are the Benefits of General Massage On Sciatica?
Like chiropractic massage, in particular, a general massage alone also has a number of health benefits for sciatica although the particulars may vary a little, depending upon the type of massage in question. These benefits can include such things as:
- Improving the circulation of blood (this stimulates healing)
- Stimulating the release of certain hormones that help reduce anxiety and depression as well as pain like that caused by sciatica
- Reducing inflammation thereby allows other forms of sciatica treatment (like chiropractic adjustments) to be more effective
- Reduces stress and blood pressure
- Relaxes muscles
- Relieves bodily pain by limiting the activation of pain receptors in the spine and muscles – although this doesn’t heal the problem, it does make it more bearable
- Quickly relieves flare-ups of low back pain
- Promotes rest and sleep for sciatic nerve pain relief at night
This is not necessarily an exhaustive list.
What Are the Types of Massage Available that Can Benefit Sciatica?
So, now that you’ve seen an extensive list of the benefits of massage, let’s do a rundown of the various types of massage, plus each one’s main focus.
- Chiropractic Massage – as discussed above, this is a massage, performed by a massage therapist at the direction of a chiropractor to produce maximum relief.
- Manipulation – improves mobility and reduces pain. Stretches tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
- Mobilization – focuses on the musculoskeletal system to improve mobility.
- Connective Tissue- A deeper massage that focuses on connective tissues like ligaments and tendons.
- Deep Tissue Massage – designed to reach deeper layers of muscles, realigning both muscles and fascia.
- Myofascial Massage- releases trigger points, adhesions as well as certain nerve endings to provide relief.
As noted above, each type of massage is designed for a different purpose. As a result, the best massage to get depends entirely upon the nature of the health problem you are trying to treat. In this case, the problem is sciatica. Each of the massages listed above should provide some benefit and relief, but the individual details of your condition may require multiple types of massage or even entirely different types of treatment to get maximum effect.
Also, not all forms of massage will have the same benefits. Consulting an Anchorage massage therapist is well-advised if you are seeking massage therapy to treat your sciatica.
You can, in fact, get sciatica pain relief through massage therapy. Massage therapy can address a number of painful conditions. And, best of all, massage therapy can be combined with other therapies like in our Alaska Back Pain Protocol (ABPP) to magnify the results. For assistance, I recommend you contact one of our chiropractors or therapists to give you a rundown of the massage techniques we have at our disposal.