Though most people are familiar with massage as a spa-type treatment for physical and mental relaxation, massage has many medical benefits as well. Massage therapy can be used in the treatment of sciatica, a condition that causes pain along the sciatic nerve in the lower back and legs. Massage therapy helps reduce pain from sciatica by relaxing muscles, increasing circulation, and promoting the release of natural pain-fighting chemicals.
At Paragon Integrated Medical in Lake Elsinore, California, our skilled medical team provides customized care for people experiencing pain from many types of injuries and chronic conditions. Drawing from numerous different specialities, we offer effective treatment options that relieve your discomfort and restore your range of motion. Highly skilled chiropractor Patrick Connolly DC has many years of experience helping his patients find the best treatments for sciatica.
What is sciatica?
Your sciatic nerve travels through your lower back and down the backs of your legs. When this nerve is compressed, it can cause pain, inflammation, and sometimes numbness in the affected area, a condition called sciatica. This is typically caused by a spinal bone spur, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine), or if a herniated disk puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The symptoms of sciatica can vary depending on where the nerve is compressed, and to what extent it’s compressed. However, some of the common symptoms are:
- Lower back pain
- Leg pain
- Hip pain
- Buttock pain
- Weakness in legs or feet
- Tingling or burning in legs
The most common symptom of sciatica is pain in the lower spine that radiates down through the buttocks and back of one of your legs. Sciatica can feel like a sharp, excruciating pain or a mild ache. It might be worse when you are sitting down. Typically, sciatica only affects one side of the body at a time.
How massage therapy can improve your sciatica
Professional massage therapy is provided by a licensed massage therapist who gently manipulates your muscles, joints, and skin. This therapy reduces mental and physical stress and promotes relaxation and overall well-being. It can also help relieve the pain and discomfort of conditions such as sciatica.
Massage therapy improves the circulation of blood throughout the body, promoting tissue and muscle health as well as healing. It helps release tension that is stored up in muscles, which can be a reaction to chronic pain from sciatica. This muscle tension can put stress on the roots of your nerves, increasing pain.
In addition, massage therapy encourages your body to release chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals promote a feeling of well-being and help relieve the pain from sciatica without the need for additional pain medications.