SCIATICA: SPINE - HIP ROTATORS - PIRIFORMIS
Sciatica is a pain that travels from your buttocks and down the leg often to the toes. The causes can be due to pressure on the spinal nerve due to a herniated disc. This puts pressure on the ‘Ridiculer Nerves’ that correspond to the Sciatic Nerve. The spinal pressure is not something massage can really fix, just alleviate some of the muscles spasms and soreness.
The other reasons for sciatica are muscles that run next to the Sciatica Nerve have gone into spasm and cause pressure on the Sciatic Nerve (this is the cause most of the time). Such muscles are the Piriformis and Hip Flexors (see pictures for examples) These muscles often respond well to deep strong massage work and stretches in alleviating Sciatic Pain. Keeping these muscles stretched out and pliable often keeps the Sciatica at bay. I have included two videos on opening these particular muscles up, but I often suggest regular yoga exercises (Hatha is a great style) as it gives an overall flexibility to your body, which keeps the number one symptom of aging at bay. After age 30 you start to lose 1% of your flexibility every year, making you more prone to injury and less likely to want to move around and continue a healthy lifestyle. Do I even need to add that it inhibits sexual ability...flexability certainly adds to the fun and variety you can have. ;-)
People who sit all day–commuting & at work–get tight hip flexors. In a layperson’s nutshell, tight hip flexors reciprocally inhibit optimal function of the glutes. When the glutes are inhibited then the hamstrings functionally act as secondary glutes thereby eventually resulting in chronic hamstring strain and tightness.
The piriformis & the 5 deep external rotators of the hip are forced to take on the extra workload of the hip & become super tight from strain & scar tissue formation. This scenario can lead to back pain, hip pain, knee pain &/or foot/ankle pain.
Stretching the gluteus medius, piriformis & hip rotators optimally requires you to move along multiple angles as they are anatomically shaped like a fan & the bones of the hip are shaped like a ball & socket universal joint.