Sciatica is a term that describes symptoms of pain, numbness & or weakness that radiates along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the buttocks, the medical term for Sciatica is Lumbar Radiculopathy.
The sciatic nerve is the longest & largest nerve in the human body running from the lower back, through the back of the legs & down to the toes and is as thick as a man’s thumb at its largest point. The sciatic nerve supplies sensation and strength to the leg as well as the reflexes of the leg. It connects the spinal cord with the outside of the thigh, the hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs, and muscles in the lower leg and feet. As such, when the sciatic nerve is impaired, it can lead to muscle weakness and/or numbness or tingling in the leg, ankle, foot, and/or toes.
The complex anatomy of the sciatic nerve means that symptoms of sciatica can vary depending on where the irritation occurs, certain conditions of the lower back can irritate the sciatic nerve, causing pain to radiate along the nerve, these symptoms are called sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy.
Treatment for sciatica
Non-surgical remedies & regular exercise will go a long way towards relieving the pain most people experience. For others when the pain is severe or does not get better a more structured treatment approach, possibly surgery may be the best option. Always seek the medical advice of your GP.
The goals of non-surgical sciatica treatment to relieve pain & any neurological symptoms caused by a compressed nerve root. There is a broad range of options available for sciatica treatment, one or more treatments below are recommended in conjunctions with specific exercises.
Alternative sciatica treatment
Support & Posture
It is always advisable to have a qualified medical proffessional oversee any type of sciatica treatment.
Immediate action is required with regards to sciatica to prevent it causing any other problems and prevent it from worsening. Massage can help reduce tightness and muscles spasms which may be affecting the position of the vertebrae. It can also aid the diagnosis by distinguishing between muscular and spinal related sciatica.
Massage can help sciatica in numerous different ways, for many it can be used to manage pain and reduce inflammation. Massage stimulates circulation which will help bring fresh blood into tight muscles which helps improve the quality of the muscle, therefore helping the muscles to do their job properly. Massage also stimulates the lymphatic system this helps the body flush out toxins and remove excess fluid and white blood cells from inflamed areas. Massage will relax tight muscles and can increase muscle quality and tone muscles that are being underused.
Often with muscular related sciatica, bad posture is one of the main causes, overusing and underusing certain muscles to stabilise, lift and generally moving will cause certain muscles to tighten and therefore can lead to the sciatic nerve roots being pinched either by the muscles themselves or by pulling a vertebrae slightly out of place. By loosening these muscles and improving the quality and tone of others can help improve posture, therefore, sciatic pain.
If you’re ready to get back to your life with less pain, it’s time to talk to a pain specialist. They’ll be able to advise you on the best massage options, as well as other ways to control your symptoms of sciatica. Sciatica massage can be a valuable part of your treatment plan. The first step is to get a diagnosis and isolate the cause of your pain.