Back pain is a very common problem in the U.S. today, and sciatica is one of the most common causes of it. This painful condition is not a diagnosis itself, but a symptom of a bigger problem. Whatever its cause, sciatica sufferers need relief from this often debilitating condition. Though medications, surgery, and physical therapy are common ways to find relief, many patients also find massage therapy beneficial. At Matrix Spa and Massage, we offer a variety of massage options to relieve your pain.
What is Sciatica?
In spite of the fact that sciatica is a common condition, many people don’t really understand what it is. Sciatica is a painful condition that is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Constant pain on one side of the buttock or leg, which is often worsened by sitting.
- Burning, tingling or searing leg pain. This pain often radiates down the leg and into the foot.
- Difficulty moving the leg, weakness, or numbness of the affected leg.
- A sharp pain that makes walking difficult
Pain associated with sciatica can range from infrequent to constant. It can be incapacitating, making pain all too common for those affected by it.
Sciatica is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. It runs from the lower back, through the buttock and down the back of each leg. The symptoms experienced by an individual depend on where along the nerve the irritation or compression is occurring. Though sciatica is caused by irritation or compression of the nerve, it is not typically caused by a particular event, but rather it usually develops over time. Most cases are diagnosed in middle age, with 40-50-year-olds being the age range most frequently diagnosed.
Massage Therapy Offers Pain Relief for Sciatica
There are many treatment options available for those suffering from sciatica. One that is sometimes overlooked is massage therapy. Massage therapy helps relieve sciatica pain in two key ways:
- It loosens tight back muscles that can place stress on the nerve roots, one of the main causes of sciatica pain.
- It causes the body to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever. Massage also releases other compounds which make the recipient feel good.
A bonus of massage therapy is that it has no side effects. Some other conventional forms of treatment, such as pain relieving medications or injections, have side effects associated with their use. As a result of this lack of side effects, massage therapy can be used more frequently than some types of conventional treatment.
Many doctors also recommend that sciatica patients follow an exercise program to reduce both their pain and the frequency of recurrences. Most of these exercise programs include a variety of exercises, but they typically focus on improving core muscle strength and specific exercises chosen to address the patient’s diagnosis. Aerobic conditioning, such as walking, is also usually encouraged to improve general fitness. However, before beginning any exercise program, patients should consult their doctor to ensure that the plan they have in mind is safe for the condition they have.
Matrix Spa and Massage for Pain Relief
If sciatica is interfering with daily life, let the skilled therapists at Matrix Spa and Massage ease your pain. A variety of services are available, from general massage, to hot stone therapy, to deep tissue massage and Thai massage, to name a few. Even if you simply need to relax after a stressful day, massage is a great way to pamper yourself. Book an appointment today by calling 801-505-9340 or contacting us here.
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