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Can Massage Help Sciatica?



There is limited evidence that massage can help with sciatica.

More Info: Because sciatica could be caused from a variety of different conditions, it is difficult to maintain what will work in all cases.  Many doctors look first for the underlying cause and treat that condition.

Proponents of natural therapies maintain the massage for sciatica is an effective treatment.  In a limited study (one participant) published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, a patient presenting with sciatica pain was treated with massage therapy with positive results including decrease in pain and increase in range of motion. For those given the option of waiting it out, massage therapy may be a more comforting option.

Can Acupuncture Help Sciatica?

Like massage, acupuncture for sciatica research is limited but the few studies published thus far appear promising.

Acupuncture can help sciatica by unblocking the flow of energy, known as the qi, in order to relieve tension and pressure. According to the theories behind the practice of acupuncture, sciatic pain may be caused and aggravated by a number of factors including the structure of the bones and muscles, weather, time of day, fatigue, and lack of activity. Acupuncture deals with the issue of blood stagnation, which contributes to the pain associated with sciatica. Extremely thin needles are inserted along various meridians, or energy pathways in the body to stimulate the flow of energy and remove the nerve pain.

Can Yoga Help Sciatica?

Yoga can help sciatica through strengthening and elongating the muscles of the core and pelvic regions, thus lessening acute pressure and nerve impingement. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back all the way to the foot. Yoga stretches incorporating corresponding muscles can provide lasting pain relief. Proper breathing techniques help to loosen and relax tight muscles while reducing inflammation as well. Sciatica is worsened by the presence of pressure and tension. Yoga helps to relieve these problems by making the muscles more supple and flexible. Sciatica is a painful and at times debilitating condition that can be greatly helped through the consistent practice of yoga.



Bell, J. “Massage therapy helps to increase range of motion, decrease pain and assist in healing a client with low back pain and sciatica symptoms..” Journal of Bodyworks and Movement Therapy 12.3 (2008): 281-289. Print.

“Yoga Journal – Poses: Therapeutic Focus – Sciatica .” Yoga Journal: Yoga Poses, Classes, Meditation, and Life – On and Off the Mat – Namaste. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 July 2011. <

“Back pain and sciatica – Other Treatments.” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 July 2011.

“The warming acupuncture for treatment of sciatica … [J Tradit Chin Med. 2009] – PubMed result.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2011. < /19514189>

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