Most massage therapists have many clients who suffer with low back pain that continues down the leg but very few know how to treat it.
Sciatica refers to pain that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. This condition is often accompanied by low back pain, which can be more or less severe than the leg pain. In addition to pain, other sensations include spasms, tingling or numbness along the sciatic nerve that can travel down the hamstrings, legs and feet. These symptoms can be bilateral or can occur on one side. Additionally, people with Piriformis Syndrome often have trouble sitting for long periods and the pain may worsen when walking or squatting. This can be a very painful condition and for some people is very disabling. Fortunately, for the majority, massage treatment is very effective.
There may be many reasons for sciatic pain - it could be caused by some irritation in the five nerve points leading to the sciatic nerve, irritation or compression in the sciatic nerve itself or because of some tightening in the vicinity of the Piriformis muscle. Irrespective of the cause, it has been found that massage therapy helps all these conditions. Massage therapy helps in relaxing muscles and improving posture. This also relieves the pressure on the various nerve points as well as the sciatic nerve. Depending on how acute the pain is as also what stage of treatment one is, there are different massage techniques that one can try.
The sciatic nerve passes through a mass of the hipís external rotator muscles. The sciatic nerve exits the greater sciatic foramen and can run superficial to, deep to or even through the piriformis muscle. Spasm in the piriformis muscle can cause compression on the sciatic nerve sending pain, tingling and numbness down the posterior leg. This description falls into the category of false sciatica and is referred to as piriformis muscle syndrome.
Treating sciatic pains is a true sport for massage therapists. Knowing the few most common causes, it is usually quite simple to treat. Simplicity and knowledge often go hand in hand. Even though it can be straightforward to treat sciatic pain, it requires a good knowledge about the common causes and connections involved. As a massage practitioner you will need to be thorough when performing an evaluation to identify the tissues at fault. Soft-tissue techniques will be far more effective with a comprehensive assessment.
A solid understanding of piriformis syndrome starts by investigating the anatomical relationships in this area. You need to know how to accurately identify piriformis muscle syndrome, how to locate this external rotator and which massage techniques can release the piriformis.
Massage therapy is a popular treatment for sciatic pain and should not be underestimated. In some hospitals there are departments, which specialize in massage therapy.
This medical massage masterclass will help you have a better understanding of different forms of sciatic pain, the common symptoms, causes and how to treat them. It will enable you to offer effective treatments with confidence resulting in great results for your clients.