Sciatica Treatment: What’s Better, a Chiropractor or Massage?

Sciatica often arises from a lack of proper body-posture awareness, physical activity, and sitting for a long time. Many people take pain killers for relief from this discomfort. However, painkillers are not the final or best solution for sciatica. Regular massages, a chiropractor, and a proper diet are good, longer-term solutions which are deemed useful to get rid of sciatica. So if you’ve ever been wondering about this subject, follow on for Sciatica Treatment: What’s Better, a Chiropractor or Massage?

What is Sciatica?

Nerve pain shooting from the region of the lumbar spine (lower back), buttocks, hips, and going down the legs is commonly known as sciatica. It can cause a tremendous amount of pain, muscle weakness, inflammation, and numbness in the affected area.

There isn’t any need for any surgery for this. Many people get better by regularly using massage chairs. You can also try acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, or chiropractic care. If these things don’t work for you, only then, as a last resort should you consider surgery.

Chiropractor Treatment

This is a drug-free, non-surgical method of treatment. Chiropractors focus on the alignment of the spine to stimulate the body to balance or fix itself. This method can relax the muscles deeply, reduce inflammation, and act as a natural painkiller. The chiropractor soothes and aims to heal the sciatic nerve.

Different therapies such as ice/cold therapy, TENS, ultrasound, and spinal manipulation can also provide relief to patients. Note there are a few risk factors that come with this. For example, it’s not advised to have vigorous massages if you’ve got damaged bones or any serious heart condition. Another disadvantage may be the cost. People may need many sessions with a chiropractor to recover which can be very expensive.

Massage Treatment

An effective way to get relief from body pain is massage therapy. Massage is considered to be the best process in treating sciatica. The main benefit of massage is that it can soothe tense muscles. It can directly target pressure on the sciatic nerves to help reduce pain. Massage treatment relaxes tight muscles, improves blood circulation, and fosters a better healing environment.

Depending on the sciatica condition itself, different types of massages are administered. The most common massages are deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, neuromuscular massage, myofascial release, and hot stone massage. During massage therapy, you will feel significantly less pain and there aren’t any side-effects.

Chiropractor or Massage Treatment: Which is Better for Sciatica?

Since both the techniques seem similar, it’s easy to get confused about this. Well, they use different techniques of approach. Chiropractors focus on spine alignment and joints, whereas on the other hand, massage therapies focus on the stimulation of muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Massage provides multiple benefits like mood enhancement, increased energy, and relaxation. It provides direct pressure on muscles or tissues that relieve a lot of the pain whilst promoting wellness. Many people have massages after chiropractic treatment to decrease inflammation, discomfort, and to promote additional healing.

Both of these methods can heal sciatica, however due to the chiropractic disadvantages, many people prefer massage instead.

Best Massage for Sciatica

Among the several types of massage available, you can choose a particular type as per your doctor’s suggestion or personal preference. Here, are some common types of massages that come highly recommended for sciatica.

Deep Tissue Massage

This is a highly vigorous form of massage. To release the tension of tight tissues and muscles, it uses deep finger and knuckle pressure and slow strokes. You will feel an effective change in sciatica after two weeks (or 4-5 sessions) of deep tissue massage.

Swedish Massage

This method provides flowing or kneading movements to stimulate the sciatic nerve and increase blood flow. For promoting relaxation and releasing tension, this massage technique is a great option.

Neuromuscular Massage

This technique, also known as trigger-point therapy, targets the source of pain of soft tissues with pressure and touch release. It combines deep friction and tissue pressure to release target muscles. Neuromuscular massage is an effective technique for sciatica patients.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release massage targets those areas which are filled with collagen and water. It uses movements designed to take the pressure from tight or sore nerves and muscles. This technique works in a three-dimensional fashion. It stimulates a muscle from all sides, making for an effective massage therapy.

Hot Stone Massage

For this therapy, hot stones are placed on the affected muscles. The heat of the stones warms the muscles during the massage. Many therapists employ this technique while using Swedish massage.

Managing Sciatica Pain With Massage

Massage is an ideal therapy for recovering from sciatica pain. It can effectively relieve pain from the lower back. This therapy works well as an anti-inflammatory treatment and natural remedy. By soothing tensed muscles and releasing pressure on sciatic nerves, it can thereby also release pain.

Massage improves the flow of blood to the sciatic nerve area. With the touch of massage, the temperature of tissue increases. It provides a sense of calmness that helps sciatica patients to feel less stress. This therapy, in addition can help boost flexibility and help foster painless movement and walking.

Another method is the massage chair, which can improve the skeletal system by putting pressure on it. Massage chairs also come with heat therapy, which improves blood circulation and removes muscle tension. These are becoming extremely popular for home use as you can use them whenever you want and there are no ongoing expenses. You select, then order your device, plug in, read the manual (while you’re being massaged) – you’re good to go!

Sciatica pain is very common, and many people are tolerating this issue daily. It makes sense to get a proper diagnosis in order to make a plan to get rid of this pain. Massages and chiropractic adjustments can definitely help, depending on your condition. Nowadays, electric home massage chairs, shiatsu pillows and mattresses can bring relief without needing any complicated therapies. They are also very affordable with no ongoing costs. 

Do you (or anyone you know) suffer from sciatica? What methods have you tried and found most effective for providing relief? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation this summer on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

Interested in secret keys to health, energy and wellness that doctors would prefer you didn’t know? Then definitely check out our book “How Squats Can Change Your Life: Supercharge Your Energy, Health, Strength and Happiness with Squats in Just 10 Minutes a Day!” written to help you get and KEEP your FIT ON!

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet types, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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