Are you struggling with sciatic nerve pain and want to know no more about it?
First, you will be interested to know that sciatica is more common in people between 30 and 50 years old, so you should continue reading. According to several studies, 70 to 80% of patients will present lower back pain at some point, and in 90% of cases, the cause lies in mechanical disorders of the spine.
Table of Contents
What is sciatica?
Indeed, the scene in which a person touches his lower back and complains of pain comes to mind, and you are not on the wrong track. However, what is it?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs on each side of the lower spine, passing through the buttocks and the back of the thigh, reaching the foot.
The term sciatica refers to the pain caused when the sciatic nerve is being pinched or irritated at the level of the spinal column.
What are the causes of sciatica?
A herniated disc is one of the most common causes of sciatica lower back pain. We could say that the herniated discs are similar to shock absorbers between the bones of the spine, and sometimes, these discs crack, and the gelatinous substance inside escapes and irritates the nerves around them, in this case, sciatica.
However, there are other less common causes of sciatica, such as a bone spur in the vertebrae (excessive bone growth), degenerative disc processes, diseases such as diabetes, or even a tumor that causes sciatic nerve pinching.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica can cause pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and loss of reflexes in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet, generally affecting only one side of the body and may combine symptoms in different places. For example, you might feel numbness in one buttock and pain in another part of your leg.
- The intensity of the pain can differ from mild to sharp, even unbearable.
- It may worsen when coughing or sneezing and sitting for an extended period.
How do you know if it is sciatica, low back pain, or piriformis syndrome?
There are several diagnoses for the same symptoms. For example, sciatica is different from low back pain or piriformis syndrome.
Sciatica: As we mentioned before, it is when the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated at the level of the spine.
Low back pain is a pain in the lumbar region generally felt suddenly after exerting effort with poor posture or after a fall.
Pyramidal or piriformis syndrome: It is a pain in the center of the buttock that occurs when the piriformis muscle compress the sciatic nerve. It is sometimes called pseudo-sciatica or false sciatica.
In sciatica and piriformis syndrome, the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated. However, it is essential to locate the site of the impingement to give a correct diagnosis.
A doctor will do a physical examination that generally includes the Lasegue maneuver, which is usually positive in the case of sciatica and negative in the case of piriformis syndrome. It consists of lying on your back (supine) and with your leg straight, raising it, and determining if you feel any pain. If pain radiating towards the extremity appears between 30 and 60 degrees, it is considered positive, and the doctor may recommend further tests.
How to treat sciatica?
In general, mild to moderate pain can be treated at home with some of these home remedies:
Apply heat and cold
Heat helps muscles relax, and cold reduces inflammation and pain. Add cold compresses to the affected area for approximately 20 minutes, then use hot compresses. You can continue trading or stick with the one you feel most comfortable with.
Do gentle, localized stretches.
Any physical treatment that helps soften the muscles around the sciatic nerve will help with pain and could help you regain mobility. We recommend going to a professional therapist to advise you on the correct stretches to avoid the counterproductive effect.
Additionally, since a herniated disc most often causes sciatica, the body usually reabsorbs the disc matter, causing symptoms that disappear shortly.
See your doctor if the pain remains for over a week or worsens. Massage can be part of an integrated model for pain management services. So, to relieve your sciatic pain, why opt for massage? It has been proven to work and could provide much-needed relief from your pain.
Book an appointment at Chicago Pain Control with a qualified massage therapist today and start experiencing the relief of massage therapy today!
Please don’t put it off any longer; effective massage techniques can manage sciatic nerve pain!
How can massage therapy help with sciatica?
When your abdominal, lower back or lower extremity muscles are tight, they can add stress to the sciatic nerve.
Massages help relieve tension in these muscles, reducing stress on the sciatic nerve.
In addition, massages stimulate the release of endorphins and can reduce the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, improving mood, inducing relaxation, and relieving pain.
4 Positive effects of a massage on the sciatic nerve
A massage can have several positive effects on the body, including reducing sciatic pain, through the following changes:
Muscle relaxation and loosening: When the muscles in the trunk, core, and lower back are tight, they can pressure the sciatic nerve roots, causing pain. Massage can stretch, loosen, and lengthen muscles, improving pain and function of the lower back and legs;
Improved Circulation: The manual soft tissue manipulation of the massage stimulates blood vessels, improving the circulation of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to painful areas, promoting healing ;
Endorphin release: Massage stimulates pressure receptors in the brain, releasing endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good hormone and reduce pain;
Stress Reduction: Stimulating pressure receptors also helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, providing a feeling of relaxation and relief.
What massages are good for sciatica?
There is little scientific evidence that one type of massage is more beneficial than another for relieving sciatica pain, so the choice is personal and based on your preferences.
These are some recommendations:
Deep tissue massage consists of slow movements with greater pressure than a relaxing massage, working the deeper layers of the muscles to reduce muscle tension. It is the most used technique to treat lower back pain.
Swedish or relaxing massage: Stimulates nerves and connective tissues to release tension and promote relaxation.
Neuromuscular massage: Apply pressure directly to the knots.
A certified therapist can offer personalized treatment focused on the specific areas around the sciatic nerve to help relieve stress and reduce pain.
How to book a massage to treat sciatica?
Suppose you are looking for a safe, convenient, and professional solution to booking a massage to treat sciatica. In that case, the certified therapists at Chicago Pain Control will gladly help you. What are you waiting for? Contact Chicago Pain Control today and enjoy a professional massage to treat sciatica.
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