• Ant Varenne

Can a Sports Massage help Sciatica?

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

What exactly is Sciatica, what causes it and could a Sports Massage or Deep Tissue Massage in Leeds help with my symptoms?


Massage Therapy for Sciatica: Does it work?



Chronic pain, particularly lower back pain is something that many adults experienced in the UK. The NHS, actually released a statement in 2016, saying that nearly 50% of UK adults are living with chronic pain, like sciatica. Nowadays, we seem to live in a medication driven society. The Daily Mail, shocking reported that "Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain." Moreover, the NHS conducted a review in 2016 which highlighted that approximately 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain.


However, one of the most beneficial ways to alleviate pain, besides pain relief is natural alternatives, like massage therapy. Now, we are not saying that a sports massage or deep tissue massage is a cure for your chronic pain. This article simply aims to discuss the natural advantages and benefits that massage therapy can have on chronic pain, namely sciatica. Massage therapy is gaining increasing support by modern medicine practitioners, as an alternative way to deal with chronic pain caused by sciatica.


So what exactly is sciatica?


The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body, in runs from the lower back through your hips & glutes (buttocks) and down the back of each leg.  Sciatica simply refers to pain or numbness that radiates along the sciatic nerve.  Sciatica can be caused by many things, including tight muscles pressing on to the nerve (impingement syndrome), narrowing of the spinal canal or herniated discs.


The benefits of massage therapy for sciatica.


A regular massage is a natural and effective way to reduce the symptoms of chronic pain. As noted, there have been several types of research conducted to investigate how beneficial massages really are to alleviate sciatica. One study, conducted in 2014 discovered that massage therapy can provide the same benefits as anti-inflammatory pain relief (i.e. ibuprofen). This study involved participants who had been dealing with chronic pain due to sciatica, and they had a weekly deep tissue massage as part of their treatment.

The results were surprisingly (well not to us), extremely positive. Recently, the NHS has been trying to reduce the prescription of pain relief, as many UK adults are becoming highly dependent on pain relief, like co-codomal, codeine, ibuprofen and paracetamol. This report demonstrated that the benefits of pain relief reduce as our bodies gain higher tolerances. Therefore, natural alternatives like massage therapies, are now even prescribed by GPs.


There are two primary ways that a massage can help with sciatica.


1. Sooth tense muscles: Our bodies can become naturally tense, which can result in more pressure on the sciatic nerve. So, a focused massage session will involve these stiff and tense muscles being worked out, realigned and rejuvenated, to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve.


2. Stimulate the release of endorphins: endorphins, also known as “happy” chemicals, are released when your soft tissue and muscles are worked out and stimulated. When we take pain relief, it sends signals to our brain to release these chemicals to alleviate pain. Whereas, a massage works very similar, apart from our body becoming dependent on the stimulation.


Is there a specific massage technique for sciatica?


Here at Circle 8 massage, Leeds, we offer various massage therapies. Although there isn’t any evidence to say which therapy would be more beneficial for sciatica. However, our trained massage therapist will discuss your primary pain issues or sciatica symptoms. We will then tailor your session to suit your exact needs. Our clients, who seek our assistance for sciatica, often select a deep tissue massage, sports massage or hypervolt therapy to alleviate their pain. If you are suffering from sciatica and would like to try an alternative pain therapy, speak to Circle 8 Massage, today!

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