No matter if your sciatic pain is brand new or if you’ve been dealing with it for years, massage therapy can help you find quick relief.
Learn more: Sciatica Treatment
How does massage therapy relieve sciatic pain?
Your sciatic pain flares up when the sciatic nerve roots in your lower back are pinched or irritated.
Massage therapy helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain in 2 ways:
- Tight lower back muscles can place stress on your nerve roots. Massage therapy loosens these muscles and helps prevent pinching or irritation.
- A massage encourages the release of pain-fighting endorphins—this can provide temporary relief from symptoms like the throbbing pain in your foot or the burning sensation in your leg.
How can you find the right massage therapist?
A quick internet search may reveal dozens of massage therapists in your area. With so many options, how do you find the right person to treat your sciatic pain?
Here are a few pointers to aid you in your search:
- Identify your goals. Figure out what you want to accomplish before you start your search for a massage therapist. For example, if you want to relieve lower back tension look for someone who has experience with sciatica patients and is trained in specific muscle-relaxation techniques such as neuromuscular therapy. If your goal is simply to raise your endorphin levels, you can head to your local spa for a basic Swedish massage.
- Consult with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to recommend a first-rate massage therapist in your area—this can save you from hours of combing through internet reviews.
- Check with professional organizations. The American Massage Therapy Association provides a searchable list of licensed massage therapists in your area. The list is not exhaustive, but—unlike internet search engines—it screens out individuals who are not legally allowed to practice.
What if you can’t visit a massage therapist?
Nothing can replace a well-trained massage therapist, but there are several great alternatives for treating your sciatic pain:
- Massage chairs. A high-quality massage chair is expensive—but it mimics a professional massage and can provide relief from your sciatic pain on your schedule.
- DIY massage. With only duct tape and two tennis balls, you can enjoy a massage on the floor of your home or office. For a less intrusive option, press a tennis ball between your chair and lower back to loosen up tight muscles.
If you’re short on time, don’t forget that many massage therapists will travel to your home or office.
Massage therapy may not permanently solve your sciatic pain, but as one component of a well-rounded treatment plan, it can help alleviate your symptoms while providing you with a relaxing and enjoyable experience.