What is sciatica? Sciatica is a term that describes the symptoms of leg pain. It is usually a tingling, pins and needles feeling, weakness, or even a numbness. It can start in the lower back and travel through the glutes, down the leg, all the way to the calf. The pain and tingling travel down the length of the sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in the body.
The cause of sciatic pain can be two fold. In the massage field we normally say that the pain is either disc related or muscular related.
- Disc related sciatica occurs when the nerve is compressed by a disc problem such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or spinal stenosis.
- Muscular related sciatica is normally when the nerve is compressed by one of the lateral rotator muscles of the hip. The main culprit is the piriformis muscle. In most people the sciatic nerve runs directly below the piriformis muscle. If your piriformis is tight or inflamed it can crimp down on top of the sciatic nerve compressing it and causing the resulting nerve pain.
How Does Massage help with this?
If your lower back muscles are tight they can place stress on your nerve roots. Deep Tissue massage along with specific stretching movements such as Active Isolated Stretching can loosen these tight muscles and prevent irritation or pinching.
A massage can also release pain fighting endorphins. These can provide temporary relief from the throbbing pain or tingling down the leg all the way to the feet.
Tom Williams has extensive experience with clients who are suffering from sciatic pain. His techniques which have proven to be very effective include deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, synergetic myofascial therapy, along with active isolated stretching. Book an appointment with Tom at Birmingham Massage Couple LLC located in Birmingham, Alabama.