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Posted by: Jane Hopwood, 21 Sep 2010 4:34PM
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Massage treatment for sciatica

Hi, does anyone have any massage advice or experience of treating a client with sciatica. Any information, any comments or advice welcomed. Please help as i have 3 potential clients who would like me to treat them. Kind regards everyone Jane


Amanda Clegg
21 Sep 2010 5:24PM

I presume they have had proper diagnosis from doc or physio and that it is muscular and not seated in the lower vertebrae? If the spine is trapping the nerve then massage isn't going to do much, but I've found that usually it is chronic tension in glutes and particularly piriformis, so a piriformis release works well once you have loosened up the whole of the lower back, glutes and ham area. Also worth looking at iliopsoas stretch as this will help loosen the whole of hte pelvic area. Ongoing, you'll need to work on lower erector spinae, hams and quads to ensure they don't affect the pelvic tilt, thus optimising posture. If you've not been taught the piriformis /iliac releases (they don't teach them on ITEC or VTCT courses) you'll have to go on a sports techniques day school or similar. They are quite easy, but you do have to be very accurate and understand exactly what you are doing. Good luck, and do set us know how you get on
Jane Hopwood
22 Sep 2010 8:16PM

Hi, thanks for all that information. Its so nice to have such responsive advice. I have told the potential clients that I am seeking professional guidance and will do all I can to help alleviate their pain. It seems that the doctors have only offered pain killers, etc. Thanks again. Jane
Andrzej Ostapko
9 Dec 2010 11:11PM

Hi. First of all try positioning the client in analgetic (pain free)positions especially in acute phase. That releases tensions and decreases further inflamation. Usually client on his/her back with hips and knees flexed in 90 degree angle and resting his/her heels on something like cussions or other things. Some people sleep on the unafected side with legs bent and pillow between their legs. Positioning shouldn't be painful. I found that muscle energy technique is very effective. Sometimes massage is impossible in supine position because of pain and then try side position for massage. Where I find biggest problem is that people come to us usually when is a bit late. Pain and inflamation is to big and therefore massage is less effective or can worsen things. In those cases I send back to doctor for some muscle relaxants and anti inflamation drugs and then work on clients when symptoms decrease.
Magali Lussiez
7 Jan 2011 12:12PM

Hi ,I found that it is usually important to lay the patient on a side position with a leg over bent& to support the kidney while working on Gall bladder points in the buttocks and legs. I suggest using accupressure ,shiatsu points from experience it is a great pain relief ... M.Lussiez shiatsu evolutif
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