How Can Massage Therapy Help Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back and continues down to the foot. The tightening of muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve can cause pain which can range from a mild tingling to severe and disabling pain.

Using cold compresses can alleviate sciatica-related pain temporarily. But longer lasting relief can be achieved through massage therapy if the problem is properly identified.

The Sciatic Nerve

The longest nerve bundle in the body, the sciatic nerve originates at the bottom of the sacrum, just above the buttocks. This is the area from where a massage therapist will begin treatment. Massage treatment should start with a professional assessment of the back. The piriformis may be tight or undergoing spasms, which can compress the sciatic nerve causing pain.

Massage Treatment

Sciatica massage treatment should apply consistent pressure to the piriformis and gluteal muscles to reduce spasms. These muscles can grow tense from long hours of sitting. A massage therapist will then use long strokes, working deep into the muscle fibers. Several sessions may be required to loosen the muscle and provide longer relief.


Massage techniques can also be done at home using simple items like a dowel, towels, and a tennis ball. Your massage therapist can help you to learn these self-massage techniques so that you can supplement your massage therapy sessions both during off hours and after your massage therapy course is complete.

The amount of money spent on pain relief medications for sciatica is believed to cost Americans several billions of dollars every year. A 2003 study demonstrated that massage therapy can effectively reduce the use of painkillers by a third. As this marked reduction of painkiller use becomes more widely known, people are turning to massage therapy more and more as an increasingly popular way to relieve sciatica pain.

Massage therapy for the treatment of sciatica pain can require numerous sessions, but relief can last up to three months. Those suffering from sciatica should consult their physician before beginning treatment.

To schedule your appointment with a certified professional, contact LaVida Massage of Smithtown, NY today.

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