by Diana Khoury
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It originates in the pelvis and descends down the hip, buttocks, and down the back of each leg.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed, resulting in anywhere from occasional mild pain to constant, incapacitating pain. The effects of sciatica are pain, numbness, or tingling in the buttocks and/or down the back of the leg(s). Sciatica is most commonly felt on just one side of the body.1
Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying physical problem in the body, such as tight lower back muscles, slipped or herniated vertebral disks. Compression of the sciatic nerve may be caused by strenuous athletic training, injury, car accident, disk problems, or driving/ sitting for long periods of time.
There are several steps you can take to prevent sciatica:
- Exercise & stretch – Try a gentle yoga class
- Maintain proper posture – Don’t slump while working at the computer
- Utilize good body mechanics – Be conscious of how you move
- Make a Massage appointment – For stress & tension relief, and improved posture
How Massage Helps
Research demonstrates massage’s effectiveness at relieving sciatic pain2. Specifically, massage reduces compression of the sciatic nerve by easing muscle tension in the affected area, while also improving circulation and range of motion. Secondary benefits may include improved sleep and reduced anxiety and depression. Clients have reported feeling relief from moderate sciatic pain in as little as one session. However, long-lasting relief and prevention of sciatica can be achieved when massage is part of your ongoing wellness plan.
Traditional treatments for sciatic pain include: exercise, stretching, over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, physical therapy, complementary therapies (such as bodywork) or in more severe cases, steroid injections and surgery. If your sciatica has lasted longer than 6 weeks, or you experience debilitating sciatic pain, consult your medical doctor or chiropractor for a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis.
This is an original article from Dreamclinic, Inc. Dreamclinic is a Health and Wellness company committed to sharing information about commonly experienced health conditions and how they may be impacted through the use of bodywork and other natural approaches. Dreamclinic offers massage, acupuncture, and Reiki sessions at its Greenlake and Queen Anne clinics, as well as onsite massage at workplaces around Puget Sound. Contact us to learn more about how Dreamclinic can help you, your family or your workplace experience greater health.