Sciatica and sports massage

03 Dec


December 2013

Are you restricted by sciatic pain? Can a Good Massage help? Here is a brief description of common causes of sciatic pain and how a good sports massage and effective stretching can relieve and manage sciatic pain for you.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica describes a set of symptoms that can include lower back pain, pain in the glutes (buttocks), pain shooting down the leg, and numbness or tingling in parts of the leg and foot. Often it is just experienced on one side of the body, and sciatic pain can be debilitating and exhausting to live with.

What causes sciatica?

Irritation of the sciatic nerve anywhere along its route, most commonly where it exits the spinal column and where it passes through tight muscle in the glutes (buttocks) or lower back can cause sciatic symptoms. Common causes include herniated disc (slipped disc), natural degeneration of the lumbar vertebrae, or trauma to the spine caused by accident. Muscular tightness particularly in the piriformis muscle and lower back and pregnancy are also common causes of sciatica. Less common causes include spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) or a growth or infection.

What is piriformis syndrome?

The piriformis muscle is an external rotator of the thigh attached to the anterior sacrum and top of the femur. It is one of six muscles known as the deep six. Look at your feet, now turn your whole leg so your feet are pointing out… that’s your piriformis at work.

Piriformis syndrome is when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve, creating sciatic pain. This can be caused by posture, or physical activity/overuse.


Good sports and deep tissue massage can ease tight muscles that cause sciatica

Does sports massage provide effective sciatica treatment?

Yes, if your sciatic pain is caused by tight or stiff muscles compressing the sciatic nerve (as in piriformis syndrome), then sports massage can be very effective. Good massage can be at its most effective when used as a preventative on a regular basis. If you suspect sciatica or piriformis syndrome, early intervention can ease muscle tightness and prevent it becoming established. If you already have chronic sciatic pain good sports massage can be very effective at returning muscles to optimal health and relieving sciatic pain.

Where one muscle becomes stiff or tight the surrounding muscles often compensate and as a result become over-loaded also. Continuing irritation of the sciatic nerve can also create a cycle of pain where-by surrounding muscle contracts in order to protect the area. This exacerbates the original tightness, further compressing the sciatic nerve. A good sports and remedial therapist can manually locate, ease and soften tight muscles, providing relief of pressure, and relief of pain.

If there are other underlying issues that created the primary irritation to the sciatic nerve (and the muscles simply reacted to try to protect the area), then sports massage can work in support of other treatment modalities. Once you have a diagnosis of sciatica, it is important to inform your sports massage therapist of the full details.


Care and support post-treatment with Good Massage Christchurch.  

At Good Massage Christchurch we firmly believe in education and providing you with simple tools for better health. Your therapist can demonstrate simple stretches and postural awareness for effectively managing sciatic pain and preventing further muscle tightness.

We believe in placing your health back in your hands so YOU can be involved in improving on, and maintaining the benefits that sports massage has provided.

Good Massage Piriformis Stretch link.(Youtube video)

Please note that this article is for general information purposes only. If you are suffering from sciatica, diagnosis should be carried out by your Doctor, or a medical professional. Good Massage is not liable for the content of any external websites.

© Jason MacDonald 2013. 

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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


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