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Sciatica Pain: What is it? How can Massage help?

Sciatica pain most commonly occurs when there is an underlying condition present, a herniated disk or bone spur, spinal stenosis (narrowing of your spine). Anything that compresses the nerve and leads to inflammation/pain.
sciatica pain image

Sciatica Pain:

A term used to describe nerve pain in your leg usually caused by compression of your sciatic nerve.


Your sciatic nerve begins its journey starting in your Lumbar spine (around the levels of L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3). Then, it travels one of two ways; along the piriformis muscle (a deep muscle in your glutes) or it goes right through it, innervates the muscles of your thigh, and travels to your knee where it then divides into the tibial nerve (travels down the back of your leg to your heel and the sole of your foot) and common peroneal nerve (travels down the outer border of your leg). Both of these nerves end as the sural nerve in your foot.

Sciatica pain most commonly occurs when there is an underlying condition present, a herniated disk or bone spur, spinal stenosis (narrowing of your spine). Anything that compresses the nerve and leads to inflammation/pain.

So what does sciatic pain feel like?

A constant burning sensation or shooting pain in the lower back/ buttock area, radiating down the back or front of the thigh, leg, or foot. This can be accompanied by numbness and tingling and/ or weakness. Sciatica usually affects one leg.

Sciatica pain may feel worse while sitting, or when you’re trying to stand up, bending your spine forward, twisting, or even while coughing

Some other conditions that can mimic sciatica:

Piriformis Syndrome — when the piriformis muscle irritates your sciatic nerve which can cause pain radiating into your leg

Joint problems in the spine — one example, spinal arthritis may be a cause of sciatic type pain.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction — too much or too little motion at your sacroiliac joints can cause pain that radiates down your leg

How can massage help?

One of massages benefits is its ability to loosen stiff or tight muscles including the muscles that could put pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Massage can also help to increase your range of motion which can also help relieve some symptoms of sciatica

On top of the physical improvements, Massage can help with the emotional pain as well. Massage helps to promote a sense of calmness that can help patients feel less anxious on their roads to recovery.

How can you help prevent sciatica?

Exercise regularly. Some exercises for sciatica – pigeon pose, leg raises, knee to chest stretch.

Maintain proper sitting posture – Sit with you back straight, shoulders back.

Practice good body mechanics.

We hope this information has helped you understand Your Body and its aches and pains. Stay healthy, stay safe 🙂

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Amanda Wonnacott

Amanda Wonnacott

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