Over the last few years as a massage therapist I have helped several people with their sciatica. In massage school we were taught what the symptoms are and shown diagrams on how to treat it, but it's impossible to know exactly what it feels like without experiencing it for yourself. For the last two days I have had the "privilege" of being able to know exactly how sciatic pain feels. Now, I am almost happy to have this chance to experience first-hand what some of my clients have been going through, but this just is not comfortable.
What is Sciatica
The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body--almost as thick as a pencil--and it weaves its way from your lower back down into your leg. Whenever a nerve passes through a joint or a muscle there is a chance that it can get pinched, and the sciatic nerve goes through a major joint--your hip--and passes through several muscles. It's no wonder that the sciatic nerve is a very common source of problems.
Where there are muscles concerned, massage is almost always a good bet (of course I am biased), but there are also quite a few stretches and exercises designed to help relieve sciatic pain. I have consistently had good results with two of these stretches, but I am going to take the next couple days to try out several different techniques and let you know which ones work the best. I will outline these techniques in my next post in just a few days.