Researchers have found that Massage is an effective treatment for low back pain. A study of 400 participants by researchers at the Group Health Research Institute and the University of Washington in Seattle found that among patients suffering from low back pain, those who received massage were “better able to perform daily activities, were more active, spent fewer days in bed, and used less anti-inflammatory medication” than those who did not receive massage as part of their usual care.
Sciatica refers to the pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve travels from the spine to the toes and the pain often manifests in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and even in the lower limbs. People often describe the sensation of a burning, numb, or tingling feeling in the thigh and calve muscles. The pain can range from dull to excruciating and even result in poor bowel or bladder control. Sciatica is often caused by lumbar spinal stenosis or a herniated vertebral disk. It can, however, be caused by a tight piriformis muscle that compresses the nerve root. A medical doctor should diagnose the cause of the pain prior to massage.
Massage can be an effective treatment for sciatica pain by lengthening, loosening, and relaxing the muscles that are compressing the sciatic nerve. Deep tissue massage, in particular, can help release scar tissue and break up adhesions that restrict the muscles and tendons associated with sciatica pain. Myofascial release and trigger point therapy have been especially effective on the deep gluteal muscles. Often your massage therapist may use cold therapy (ice) to help reduce inflammation in the affected area.