Houston Forward Times

25 September 2013 Written by  Valecia Weeks

Benefits of Massage on Sciatic Nerve Pain

Valecia Weeks is a Professional Licensed Massage Therapist through the state of Texas as well as a Birth Doula.  She is a licensed ZUMBA instructor and a certified personal trainer with NESTA.

sciatic painIn the last few years I have come across more and more ladies…and men… with pain in the lower back that radiates down the leg and sometimes into the foot.  A lady I was with a few days ago even had a limp because of this annoying uncomfortable pain.  Some ladies even attribute it to the great ol’ “autho”…arthritis.  If you or anyone you know are having such symptoms, I would advise seeing your physician.  It could be something as simple as sciatic nerve pain. When I use the word “simple”, I don’t mean that it is not a serious condition; but just mean that there is simple treatment for Sciatic nerve pain.

The sciatic nerve is a bundle that is composed to several roots.  The origination of this bundle is in the lower back and sacral area.   If you can imagine an adaptor with several active plugs plugged in there and that   one decides to malfunction, everything attached to that adapter would no longer be able to function.  Well, that’s how it is with sciatic nerve pain.  When the muscles of your lower back, gluts, and leg tighten, it compresses on the nerve which causes all this pain.  Mild pain can cause slight tingling but severe sciatic pain can prohibit or limit movement.  . Application of cold compresses quite often alleviates sciatica pain and may be used for initial treatments or mild attacks. However, long lasting relief can be obtained from massage therapy once the problem is identified as originating from the sciatic nerve.

One of my massage clients, Mrs. Debra Lofton contacted me with severe pain in the lower back, tennis ball reliefleg, and foot.  It was so severe that she could barely do daily tasks.  I had her come in and did an assessment of the entire back and buttock area.  I then applied constant pressure to the piriformis and gluteal muscles which caused them to relax, thus reducing spasms in her lower back, gluts, and leg. Here are Debra’s thoughts on the massage procedure, “ I am pain-free today because of the expert hands of Val Weeks.  I went with lower back pain that had begun to radiate down my left leg. After an hour long massage with intense pressure on my gluts and lower back, I am pain free.”

Such massage techniques can also be practiced at home between your massage sessions or when the pain is less severe.  Follow these steps:

  • This requires you to use a tennis ball.
  • Place it in the middle of one buttock while lying down.
  • Let your weight settle on the ball and cause pressure on the piriformis in the buttock muscle.
  • Lie still while the muscle relaxes and repeat the massage treatment on the other buttock.
  • Rolling the ball across the gluteal muscles while lying down may also help.
  • Be sure the pressure does not apply to any bones.
  • If you do feel sore after this treatment, apply some moist heat to the area with a heated wet towel.

Massage therapy for sciatica pain may require multiple sessions, but relief can last for two to three months. It is important, ladies, that you take care to see that the conditions that caused the sciatica pain are avoided.


MAA WereReady