Your backbone is such a vital structure that the literary guys refer to everything as a “back” one” that” can provide support. Of the many enemies of the back, the most brutal one is sciatica. To combat this villain, you ought to carry the ammunition of massage. Thus, massage for sciatica is a must.



The terms low back pain and sciatica are usually interchanged. In this article, low back pain refers to any back pain, i.e., sciatic nerve or muscular pain, while sciatica refers to neuropathic pain only. 




What Is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in the body. It innervates the lower half of the body, passing from the buttocks into the legs and finally up to the feet. Inflammation of this nerve is known as sciatica. It is most commonly seen in patients suffering from chronic low back pain. 


Sciatica can have severe consequences as it debilitates life. The annual incidence of sciatica is between 1 and 5%. A report found the lifetime incidence of this debilitation was 10-40%


Signs And Symptoms 

The most common complaints of people suffering from sciatica include:



The sciatic nerve is usually felt on only one side of the body. It is usually an excruciating pain that radiates from one point to another. These points vary between individuals. 


For some, the pain radiates from the buttock and extends up to the leg, while others have reported pain in the foot (toe) as well. 


massage for sciatica


Due to the long course of the nerve, the pain presentation varies greatly. Several patients report improvements in symptoms with changes in posture. Some find relief when lying down or resting, while others have a triggered response when sitting down and prefer staying in a standing or semi-reclined position. 


The symptoms may aggravate with bending and twisting the spine. Activities such as sneezing or coughing can also cause agonies. 


Burning And Tingling 

It isn’tisn’tssary that you feel pain only. Neuropathic issues (nerve issues) can also present as a burning sensation. According to studies, the burning is felt deep in the buttocks.


Tingling in the legs is relatively rare but has been felt by some patients.



The study participants exclaimed that they were most bothered by leg pain, followed by numbness (paresthesia) and leg pain. Thus, it was concluded that numbness in the leg can cause great discomfort.


Patients may experience a combination of different symptoms that make it worse. 


Causes Of Sciatica 

There are several causes of inflammation of the sciatic nerve, but the symptoms are caused by its impingement.


The most common causes of sciatic nerve impingement/damage include:


  • Herniation of a vertebral disc (disc slip)
  • A degenerative bone disease that affects the spine (forming bone spurs)
  • injury or accident (trauma to the spine)
  • Prolonged sitting


Who Can Get Sciatica?

The point to ponder here is that the ghost of sciatica can haunt anyone. The risk factors associated with sciatica include obesity and increasing age.


Obesity And Old Age  

Older people are at a greater risk of falling into the pit of sciatica, and obese people have a higher amount of force/pressure on the muscles of the back that makes them prone to sciatica.


A meta-analysis of different studies found a direct link between obesity/overweight and sciatica in women.


Prolonged Sitting

Yes, my friend! If you have a job that requires sticking your bottom to a chair for long, hefty hours, you are very close to developing sciatica. Research suggests that sitting for more than half a day accompanied by improper posture significantly increases your likelihood of acquiring sciatica.


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The growth of the fetus can add pressure and weight to the maternal muscles. Therefore, back pain and sciatica during pregnancy are joint. Expecting mothers experience shooting pains initiating in the buttocks and radiating down to the legs. 


Massage For Sciatica 

Sciatic nerve pain can gravely impact the quality of life. Alas, there is no magic wand whose swing will end all pain and misery. The closest to magic in the treatment of sciatica is massage therapy.


Yes! You heard it right. Massage for sciatica can turn the tables for you and bring back the old energy and flexibility in you. There are several ways in which a massage can be fruitful in managing sciatica. 


Benefits Of Massage For Sciatica 


Prevention From Sciatica

Massage is an excellent way of preventing the development of sciatica. People of the following categories must have a regular massage for sciatica pain to keep their disability far:


  • Office workers who work for long hours (sitting on a chair)
  • People prone to low back pain 
  • Bodybuilders who lift heavy weights 
  • Dentists 
  • Athletes and players 


Massage therapy provides relief in several ways. According to a study, back massage for sciatica given at the workplace removes the tension in employees’ muscles. This maneuver also reduces stress and pain, thereby improving job satisfaction. It prevents the sciatic nerve from impinging.


Exposure to long sitting periods leads to musculoskeletal pain and discomfort in the back. The initial symptom of this habit is back pain (due to muscular spasms), but this eventually leads to sciatica. Muscle stiffness significantly increases after a mere 4.5-hour period of continuous sitting. A 2020 study shows that massage can potentially reduce muscle stiffness, which can lead to sciatica.


Pain Relief 

It is an open secret that massage for sciatica is the best way to eliminate sciatic nerve pain. The hands of a masseuse can magically relocate your spine and remove the pressure from your aching nerve. 


Sciatica massage is a potent way of reducing nonspecific chronic lower back pain. Studies suggest that along with pain relief, spine flexibility enhancements are also noted after a massage/physiotherapy session.


According to a study, massage is a productive step in removing prolonged sciatic nerve pain. The survey on a patient suffering from sciatica for nine months concluded that specialist massage for sciatica can efficiently eliminate pain and reduce symptoms.


According to another account, Iranian traditional massage for sciatica is a potent method of treating non-acute sciatica. The study participants reported an evident decrease in pain severity and disability. 


massage for sciatica


A study suggests that massage and acupuncture (a traditional Chinese medicine procedure) effectively relieve patients suffering from sciatica or persistent low back pain.


Correction Of Slipped/Herniated Disc

A prospective study found that sciatica symptoms were seen in patients with disc herniation at the L4-5 level. Sciatica massage can be used to cure the underlying cause. According to a research paper, lumbar disc herniations (which cause sciatic nerve pain) can be cured with massage.


A slipped and herniated disc can be regressed using massage therapy. As per a case report, relief of sciatica symptoms and regression of extruded lumbar disc was achieved in a 42-year-old patient with massage therapy.


This very treatment modality successfully repositions your spine, thereby ridding you of the cause of sciatica. Evidence suggests that lumbar disc herniation can be effectively treated with massage therapy.


Pressure applied by a masseuse’s hands and exercise can help reposition the displaced lumbar disc. This combination therapy is very effective in eradicating sciatic nerve pain and discomfort.


Sciatica In Pregnancy

Pregnancy-induced sciatica affects only 1% of women across the globe, and the causes are the same as the usual sciatic nerve impingement (bulging/herniation of intervertebral disc). However, the condition is a severe complication for childbearing mothers. 


massage for sciatica


In the first and third trimesters, medications are avoided, and great precautions are taken if given. Therefore, the ladies are left with the only option of treatment: massage. According to a study, a 20-minute massage for sciatica twice a week leads to an evident reduction in back pain. The massage for sciatic nerve pain also improves mood and reduces anxiety.


Pregnancy is a difficult time for both partners. Husband and wife often experience spaces and distance between one another. This may be due to pregnancy-related depression. Sciatica during this period further aggravates the situation. Massage for sciatica seems to improve mood and mutual relationship (between spouses) and reduce back pain.


Quality of life in pregnant women suffering from low back pain is seen to improve in lower back pain. As per a study, sciatica massage also reduces labour pain and increases satisfaction with birth.


Back massage by a massage therapist for sciatica is also effective in reducing low back pain in women facing post-partum back pain, a study suggests. 


Improved Circulation Of Back Muscles 

Research suggests that massage for sciatica dramatically improves the blood supply of the lower back. This enhanced blood flow allows healing and repair cells to reach the site and remove inflammatory cells.


Lumbar massage increases the blood flow of the massaged region and leads to a reduction in pain and fatigue. 

Reduction In Blood Pressure 

It may sound unrealistic, but a back massage given for sciatica relief can also have a positive impact on your blood pressure. A study found that a 20-minute back massage reduces diastolic blood pressure. Improvements in psychological distress were also seen.

Improvement Of Mood And Alleviation Of Stress

An additional advantage of having a back massage is that it can be potent in reducing generalized anxiety and stress. A study concluded that anxiety levels significantly decrease after a massage from a professional massage therapist for sciatica.


Improvement In Sleep

In a study carried out on 90 patients, it was concluded that massage therapy for sciatica also leads to improvements in diastolic blood pressure. This also had the advantage of improving sleep quality in patients.


Patients suffering from chronic sciatic nerve pain also experience sleep disturbances. Back massages improve breathing and sleep in ICU patients.

Other Ways Of Managing Sciatica 

In addition to a massage for sciatica, you can also try these treatment modalities to alleviate symptoms:


Hot/Cold Therapy

Warm towels or heating devices are frequently used in the treatment of sciatica. Heat application releases tension from the sore muscles of the back (that may be the culprit of sciatic pain).


Some experts consider alternating hot and cold therapy to have superior results.


Stretches And Exercise 

Body stretches improve your muscles’ flexibility, range of motion, and strength. Body experts have identified different sciatica exercises and stretches that are immensely effective in reducing lower back pain and sciatica. 


massage for sciatica


The most famous stretches include:


  • Pigeon pose 
  • Knee-to-leg stretch
  • Knee-to-shoulder stretch 
  • Standing hamstring stretch  
  • Seated hip stretch



Research shows that yoga is an effective treatment modality for managing intervertebral disc extrusions that lead to sciatica. Therefore, adding yoga to your routine can be a fruitful step.



The procedures of acupuncture and acupressure from traditional Chinese medicine help reduce neuropathic pain generated from sciatic nerve compression. According to a meta-analysis, acupuncture shows pain-relieving results better than conventional Western medicine. 


Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into the painful site to relieve tension.


Cupping Therapy 

Massage for sciatica can have superior effects when combined with cupping therapy. According to a study, cupping therapy (also known as hijama) is found to be more effective in relieving sciatic nerve pain as compared to NSAIDs.



Sciatica is the state of the inflamed sciatic nerve. This very nerve innervates the buttocks, legs, and feet. Inflammation of the sciatic nerve manifests itself as pain, burning, tingling, or numbness in the buttock or leg region. 


Nerve impingement can be attributed to disc herniation, injury, or arthritis. Studies have confirmed that massage is the most potent cure for sciatic nerve pain. Massage leads to evident reductions in pain and improvement in spine mobility and range of motion. 


Added advantages of back massage for sciatica include significant reductions in anxiety, stress, and blood pressure. People also note improvements in sleep after a massage therapy session for sciatica.