If you have learned that you have sciatica, or have pain from it, you’re not alone. This is an especially uncomfortable pain that can arise. Sometimes it’s seen during and/ or after pregnancy, after injuries occur, or it just relates to disc problems. These are only a few causes of sciatica.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sciatica, you will have been informed that it’s one of the main spinal nerves that becomes impinged. This nerve runs underneath some of the glute muscles, and down the leg. This makes for an especially painful situation if you have this condition.
One other way that the nerve can become compressed is the muscle near the glutes, namely the piriformis, is tight. By releasing the tightness of this piriformis muscle, it can greatly reduce the sciatica syndrome. Only when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis can this be relieved with massage therapy. The other way that is the cause of sciatic pain is from the nerve root, and can’t be alleviated by massage. This is an important difference to know, especially if you are a massage therapist attempting to help a client. Working from a muscle releasing perspective when it’s indeed the nerve root can aggravate things. That’s why it is always good to ask the client.
There is a simple way of testing this for yourself to see if the sciatica pain that you maybe feeling is coming from the nerve root. This test is called the straight leg raise. If you find that your foot and low leg are in pain, have someone raise your leg and typically you can raise your leg most of the way, about 70 – 80°. If you have pain about 30 or 40° when you have someone raise the leg, it’s probably sciatica coming from the nerve root. If you can raise your leg most of the way, though, the pain can be deduced to tight hamstrings. Also, you can lay flat and bring your chin to your chest. You should be able to do this pain-free. If you cannot and it really causes discomfort, it’s likely to be sciatica that’s originating from the nerve root. https://youtu.be/bX2yMWkartghttps:
There’s a couple of other things that can certainly feel a lot like sciatica. Low back pain, continued into the gluetes and posterior knee can feel like this pain. When trigger points are present, the pain experienced can be sharp and quite uncomfortable. Any trigger points that live in the glutes can attribute to low back pain.
I hope that who ever is reading this finds this helpful, whether you have experienced or are experiencing this situation, or know someone that has. If it’s informative and you learned something about this condition that you didn’t know, or if it has given some insight, please leave a comment! Let me know about your journey and if there’s anything that I can help you with. Peace, love, and care to you all.