The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. Unfortunately if there is dysfunction with this nerve, life can become miserable. As you can see from the above picture, sciatica pain can be a real pain in the butt (pun intended) or it can refer pain down the leg. The pain can actually start from a pinch in the nerve by the sacro-iliac joints (at the tailbone), or anywhere in the gluteal muscles.
One popular muscle that causes sciatica pain symptoms is the piriformis muscle that originates from the tailbone and attaches into the femur. Basically this muscle bands across the gluteal muscles and can pinch the sciatic nerve that runs underneath if the muscle becomes too tight. Take a look below for the visual:
In fact the piriformis can become so tight that there can be constant pain in this area that just wont go away. If this is the case, you may have a diagnoses of Piriformis syndrome. Of course a massage therapist cannot diagnose, so if you feel that you may have severe symptoms (or just need to know) see your primary care doctor if there isn't any diagnoses. It is a good chance though that a massage therapist trained in neuromuscular techniques will connect with your symptoms, and help bring relief.
So that brings the question, how can massage help with this? Massage therapy has proven effective in the treatment of this condition. As a massage therapist, I have had great success in relieving these symptoms. I would work on the gluteal muscles, piriformis, hamstrings, and areas around the sacrum (tailbone). I would use trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and active/resistive stretching. In many cases, within 1-3 sessions I can bring positive lasting change for pain relief.
Just like going to any health care provider for problematic symptoms, consistency is key. If massage has an impact on your sciatica, then it is recommended to get massage at least 1-2 times a week for severe symptoms. If the pain is not so severe, then massage is recommended at least 2-3 times a month until symptoms can become manageable. Every case is different, and your therapist will suggest a treatment plan based on whats assessed during the massage.
Does this sound like something that can help with your condition? Set up a massage appointment today and lets find out! Easy online scheduling HERE.