Sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve—the largest nerve in your body—becomes compressed. Sciatica can cause numbness and radiating pain in the lower back and legs. Some cases of sciatica can resolve on their own, but this condition can be debilitating and may require lots of rest as you heal. One way you may want to manage your sciatica symptom is with Thai massage. Take a look at what this massage modality entails and how it could help.
How Is Thai Massage Different from Other Massage Methods?
With other massage methods, like Swedish or deep tissue massage, you'll usually lay on top of a massage table and stay stationary during the session. Thai massages usually take place on a floor mat and are more dynamic as the therapist focuses on helping the client improve their range of motion with stretches. If you are struggling to hold certain stretches, Thai massage can be beneficial because you can really relax while the therapist supports your weight in the stretch.
How Can Thai Massage Help Sciatica?
Thai massage could help you reduce back pain from sciatica, as one study even found that Thai massage was an effective therapy for reducing chronic low back pain. Thai massage is also helpful to patients because it improves circulation and reduces muscle tightness.
Like other massage therapies, Thai massage can warm muscles and improve blood circulation. When circulation is improved, more oxygen and essential nutrients are delivered to repair damaged tissues. Besides improving blood circulation, Thai massage can improve lymph circulation. The lymphatic system is responsible for producing antibodies and flushing out excess fluids/white blood cells from inflamed areas of tissue. In short, improving your circulation with Thai massage can help healing processes work more efficiently and could help you find pain relief without relying on medications.
Reduced Muscle Tightness
Sciatica is often caused by muscle imbalances or overtight muscles. For example, overly tight hamstrings can increase stress on the lower back, which can exacerbate symptoms of sciatica. One great benefit of Thai massage is that incorporates many yoga techniques. Yoga poses, like a spinal twist or a pigeon pose, target tight muscle groups that aggravate this issue. Yoga poses like a supported bridge pose can help flex and extend the spine, which can relieve nerve pressure. Some professionals may recommend exercises for sciatica, which may seem counter-intuitive to some patients, so Thai massage is a great way to strengthen your body with low-impact exercises/stretches.
Reach out to a Thai massage therapist in your area to learn more.