If you've recently been feeling pain or tightness in your upper legs, buttocks or similar areas, there's a chance you're dealing with one of two conditions that are somewhat similar: Sciatic pain (also called sciatica) or piriformis syndrome.
Luckily, our team of quality massage therapists at REMassage has experience providing massage therapy techniques that may assist with one or both of these conditions. In fact, with proper massage therapy and a few other basic approaches, it's common for conditions like these to be fully treatable. Let's look at how these two conditions differ, plus how massage therapy may be an ideal course of action if you're dealing with either one.
Understanding Sciatic Pain and Piriformis Syndrome
While these conditions are indeed similar, it's important to recognize the basic ways in which they differ. Sciatic pain, or sciatica, refers to a pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back all the way down each leg. This condition is often caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal). Sciatic pain can be quite severe, making it difficult to stand or sit for long periods of time.
Piriformis syndrome, on the other hand, is a condition in which the piriformis muscle (a small muscle located near the top of each hip) spasms and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can also cause pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, but it's typically not as severe as sciatic pain caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. In addition, piriformis syndrome is more likely to cause pain in just one leg, while sciatic pain often affects both legs.
Massage Can Be a Major Benefit
Because both these conditions involve tightness and/or spasms in muscles that are putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, massage therapy can be an extremely effective way to provide relief. Our therapists will work to release the tension in the affected muscles, which can help reduce or eliminate the pain you're experiencing. In addition, regular massage can help prevent future flare-ups of either condition by keeping the muscles loose and relaxed.
If you think you may be dealing with either sciatic pain or piriformis syndrome, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation. We'll be happy to assess your condition and recommend the best possible treatment approach, which may or may not include massage therapy.
Value of Stretching
In addition to our massage therapy solutions, we may also recommend a series of stretches that can help reduce the tension in your muscles and provide relief from your pain. For piriformis syndrome, in particular, stretching the piriformis muscle on a regular basis can be an extremely effective way to prevent future flare-ups.
For more on massage therapy for sciatic pain and piriformis syndrome, or to schedule a consultation, call REMassage today.