Suffering from Sciatica is certainly not a pleasant experience, and truthfully it can make life miserable for a whole variety of people all over the world. Sciatica can strike seemingly without warning, it can come on anytime, and it can last for days, weeks, months, even years. But what exactly is sciatica? Well, basically, sciatica is best described as being chronic leg pain which is caused via a pinched nerve located within the lower back. This isn’t just any nerve however, this is the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body, located around the hip just above the buttocks and the lower back, running all the way down the leg to the foot. The pain will vary from person to person, with some people experiencing nothing more than a slight tingling sensation in their lower back and legs, to others being in such agony that they can barely move. As mentioned, sometimes sciatica will last days, whilst other times it may last weeks, months, or even years. However long it may last, there are ways of effectively dealing with the condition, easing it greatly and sometimes even clearing it up entirely. Massage therapy for example, is arguably the most effective method of treatment for sciatica, which is what we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at right now.
Foam rolling – When people think of massage, they think of professional masseuses and experts doing the massaging for them, and whilst training experts are indeed extremely effective when it comes to dealing with various pains in the body, it is also possible to perform self-massage. Foam rolling for example, is an extremely beneficial method of self-massage that many sciatica patients are incorporating into their daily routines in order to manage and eradicate their sciatica for good. With foam rolling, patients will use a specially designed tube-shaped piece of foam, to massage the area most badly affected. With sciatica for example, the problem will stem from the lower back, so they will place the tube of foam under their lower backs, and will roll back and forth in a variety of different ways, to allow the tube to massage their bodies. This helps break down scar tissue and tense muscle tissue, and can reduce inflammation on and around the lower back, which could be pressing on the sciatic nerve, leading to the pain and discomfort.
General massage therapy – When foam rolling isn’t enough, sciatica sufferers may be forced to seek professional help and undergo other forms of massage therapy. General massage therapy may be appropriate in these cases as it can improve circulation, increase natural endorphin levels, reduce stress, tension, and inflammation, and relax tense and stiff muscles which in turn will lead to an increase in flexibility and general range of motion. Swedish massage techniques have proven effective, though in more extreme cases, deep tissue massage may be recommended.