Do you have a nagging pain in your back? Does that nagging pain shoot down the back of your leg? You may be able to thank (or curse) your sciatic nerve for that. The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body, running from each side of the low spine through the buttock (your piriformis muscle ties into all of that, and its not uncommon for that muscle to be tight along with the back pain) and moves down the back of the thigh and then down to the foot.
Sciatica is commonly caused by some type of compression in the lower back, it could be from a herniated disc, an inflamed disc or something as simple as twisting the wrong way. The nerve roots in your spine are extremely sensitive and it can be very easy to irritate, and sometimes very difficult to alleviate. Take a look at this video for a detailed review of the sciatic nerve:
Did you know just one massage therapy session can drastically reduce the pain and symptoms associated with sciatica? Sciatic pain can be insidious and long term. Most importantly, it can affect your quality of life. Most people will frustratingly try to “stretch it out” on their own or resort to pain-relieving drugs, which are essentially just putting a band aid on the problem, or even resort to surgery. Why live like this? And why go to such extreme measures?
A massage therapy session incorporating myofascial release, trigger point therapy, and active isolated stretching can assist in pain reduction by taking pressure off the sciatic nerve and free up the lateral rotators (located in the glutes) and low back muscles. Trigger points are commonly found during treatment of sciatica, which can relieve referring pain and restore range of motion. In addition to bodywork you receive during your session, you receive helpful techniques, exercises, and tools you can use to keep pain free and in balance! Stop with the band-aid fixes and start with effective treatments that you can also incorporate on your own to help kick that back pain to the curb.
In good health,
Natalie Frederick, LMT