A massage is very beneficial in alleviating the pain accompanying the nerve damage. Massage therapy is very beneficial in relieving pain from damaged nerve or sciatica, whatever its cause may be. When massage is done on the affected area, it relaxes the muscles and decreases the strain along with relieving the pressure on the affected nerve points. Massage also helps in enhancing the blood circulation in the affected area and helps in releasing endorphins which are the 'feel good hormones.' Before visiting a massage therapist or beginning a massage, consult with your health care provider to have a better understanding of your condition. Your doctor will explain your condition and its causes, aggravating factors etc. Always consult your physician before starting any massage. If the massage is done without consulting your physician or if done by an inexperienced person, it can cause serious damage to the spinal cord and nerves.
Warm sesame oil combined with nutmeg can be used for massage. It gives great and long term benefits in patients suffering from pain caused by nerve damage.
Massage Therapy for Sciatic Nerve Pain
Sciatica is a condition which occurs when an intervertebral disc protrudes or gets prolapsed from its original position in the vertebral column. This compresses the nerve root (a part of the sciatic nerve) in the lower back and causes pain. Impingement of the sciatic nerve affects the lower back, buttocks and thighs. Therefore, the massage therapist massages these areas applying gentle pressure.
Steps Involved in Massage Therapy for Sciatic Nerve Pain
- For sciatic pain, massage therapy is done by massaging the posterior region of the leg, starting from the back of the thigh down to the lower leg region.
- For optimum benefit, massage should be done after taking a hot bath, as it relaxes the muscles further.
- Each hand should be placed on the external part of the upper knee such that the thumbs are on the front side of your legs. The rest of the fingers are present at the posterior area of the knee.
- Mild pressure should be applied while you pull your fingers outward along with edging your way up towards your hip.
- This should be done for at least 15 minutes.
- The pressure can be increased as the legs get accustomed to the pressure.
Points to Remember
- After the massage steps are done, follow this with rubbing an ice cube over the affected area or ice wrapped in a cloth/towel.
- The sciatic nerve reflex points present on the soles of the feet about an inch from your heel can also be massaged.
- Massage can also be done on the hip/sciatic nerve points near the ankles located slightly above the external part of the ankle joint.
- Never use this massage if there is inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
- Extreme caution should be taken when performing massage on pregnant women. Mild and gentle pressure should be applied when doing this massage. If the pressure is more, it can stimulate the saphenous vein which could result in pelvic contractions.
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