Chronic sciatica pain is a very common condition that can range from uncomfortable to debilitating, but fortunately, acupuncture and massage therapy can help manage your pain.
Chronic Sciatica Pain—What is it?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, and its main function is to send signals to your lower extremities including your hips, legs and feet. When irritated, the sciatic nerve can cause pain that radiates from your low back to your knees, and sometimes even down to your feet. This is referred to as sciatic pain and the pain, depending on if you have an underlying condition, can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. No matter the pain level you’re experiencing, massage and acupuncture can offer great relief and get you back to feeling like yourself!
Massage Techniques for Sciatica Pain
The art of massage has been around for thousands of years, long before it was recognized by its given name. To help alleviate chronic sciatica pain, various massage techniques are used to focus on the parts of the body the nerve affects when it becomes irritated or compressed, which are the low back, hips, legs, knees and feet.
Massage helps to relieve tension in the muscles and joints that surround the nerve and in turn, allows the sciatic nerve to begin functioning normally again. If the pain is a result of the nerve being compressed, getting a massage will help to decompress the nerve and eliminate any knots or muscle tension that are the effects of pain itself. It’s important to know that getting a single massage isn’t going to be as effective as getting a series of massages, especially when it’s as complex of an area as the sciatic nerve.
Which Techniques are Used in Sciatic Massage Therapy?
The following is a list of the main massage techniques that work best for chronic sciatica pain:
1. Trigger Point
The trigger point massage technique is exactly that—it focuses on the parts of your body that are triggering pain. During a massage, your therapist may focus on your low back, where the 5 roots of the sciatic nerve connect. Through cycles of pressure and release, the nerve is able to relax and eventually decompress.
2. Deep Tissue
The deep tissue massage technique is an effective therapy technique that’s used for relief of sciatic pain, among other types. Your massage therapist will use pressure on your low back to rid the area of knots and overall tightness. This will allow the nerve to loosen up and as a result, relieve you of sciatic nerve pain.
The sports massage technique draws from deep tissue and swedish massage therapy with the added benefit of stretching. This technique is great because not only does it have all of the benefits as deep tissue massage, it targets specific muscle groups.
Acupuncture for Chronic Sciatic Pain
In addition to massage, acupuncture is a fantastic modality to help ease and heal chronic nerve pain. In a meta-analysis of 122 studies on the subject, researchers discovered an improvement in those who were treated with acupuncture.
Specifically, acupuncture can help manage your pain by:
- Releasing endorphins
- Relaxing the muscles, which reduces pain
- Increasing blood flow to the affected area
- Bringing the body back to homeostasis by releasing blocked qi
The most important thing to consider when looking to manage your chronic sciatica pain is what works best for you. Integrating multiple modalities as well as at-home care, such as stretching, ice and castor oil mixed with heat can help you achieve the most from your efforts.
If you are experiencing chronic sciatica pain and want to find relief with massage or acupuncture therapy, we’ve got you covered! Our trained practitioners are in the business of helping you feel better. Call us today at (303) 573-7484 to schedule an appointment and start feeling like your carefree, pain-free self again!