Can Massage Make Sciatica Worse? [Answer With Resources]

Rate this post

No, but it can make you more comfortable. A study in the December 2011 issue of The US National Library of Medicine found that patients with sciatic pain who received a massage experienced less pain and had improved range of motion and sciatica symptoms. In addition, the study found that Swedish massage may reduce inflammation in your muscles.

Also, there are some facts that contradict the above question.

According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, a review of previous research found that massage has been effective in treating low back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain.

A study published in Researchgate from “The Journal of Physical Therapy Science” also found that massage is helpful in the treatment of shoulder pain.

So we can confidently say massage doesn’t make sciatica worse. It helps to reduce pain and improve the range of motion. It also reduces inflammation in your muscles.

Now the question arises, “Sciatica can be cured with massage?”

The answer is NO. Because massage tries to make you feel relax which in turn may only help to reduce the pain. But it cannot cure sciatica.

Research has found that massage can be used as an alternative or complementary treatment for low back pain and knee osteoarthritis because it helps in increasing function, walking speed, and quadriceps strength while decreasing pain.

However, if you already had any surgery or other treatment for your sciatica then massage may not be suitable for you because it may slow down the recovery process.

So, to answer the question “Can massage make sciatica worse?” massage can make you more comfortable with sciatic pain but it cannot cure your sciatica.

How do I know if I have sciatica?

How do I know if I have sciatica?

The most common sign of sciatica is lower back pain that radiates into your buttocks and down the back of your leg. This pain is typically worse when sitting, sneezing, or coughing.

However, it may not be your sciatica only that causes this type of pain. There are various other diseases that can cause lower back pain, hip pain, and/or leg pain.

So before you jump to any conclusion about your sciatica, you should visit your doctor to determine the underlying cause of this pain.

Why does massage make sciatica worse?

If you don’t know the risk, what is there to lose? When massage is performed by an experienced and skilled therapist, it can be a pleasant and relaxing experience.

But if you have been having severe sciatica, then it may contradict your doctor’s advice to avoid putting pressure on your lower back.

However, massage is not contraindicated for people with sciatica but you should let your therapist know about your condition before getting a massage.

So if you don’t tell your therapist about your problem before receiving a massage, there is a chance that you may get more pain from your sciatica.

In conclusion, massage can make sciatica worse if the therapist does not know about your sciatica and you don’t tell them in advance.

What type of massage is best for sciatica?

There are different types of massages. But which one is the most suitable depends on your condition.

Mobilizing massage: If you are suffering from acute sciatica, then your doctor may recommend spinal manipulation or mobilizing massage.

Mobilizing massage

The mobilizing massage helps to increase the movement of muscles and helps release the tension in them which further helps to reduce pain.

Myofascial release massage: If you have chronic sciatica then your doctor may recommend a myofascial release massage.

Myofascial massage is especially helpful for people with back problems because it can reduce muscle tension, increase blood flow to the muscles, and reduces stress on the sciatic nerve.

So now you know that whether massages are suitable for you or not totally depends on your health condition. So make sure to talk to your doctor before you opt for a massage.

How Can Massage Therapy Help With Sciatic Pain?

Massage therapy is a manual manipulation of soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) and joints used to reduce pain and stress. Below are some of the benefits of massage therapy.

Relieves Tension:

Heavy tension in muscles can pull on tendons and other tissues, which can cause pain. Massage removes knots that form in muscle tissue due to stress, injury, or chronic tension. In turn, this can relieve inflammation and increase circulation.

Relieves Stress:

Massage therapy can also help to release muscle tension, which contributes to stress. Massage releases serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

This reduces feelings of stress and relaxes your mind and body. Also, it helps to reduce sciatic pain, as well.

Circulates Nutrients:

Massage therapy increases blood flow to the muscles. This brings more nutrients and oxygen for faster healing. Also, it helps in removing waste products from your muscles.

This is an important benefit for chronic sciatica conditions, as it speeds up the recovery process.

Boosts Endorphins:

Massage therapy can help to boost endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. In other words, massage boosts your immunity and fights off chronic pain. This is especially helpful for people with sciatica.


How often should you receive a massage for sciatica?

In most cases, people with sciatica and chronic back pain in general (generally older than 50 years) should receive massage therapy 2–3 times a month to get results.

However, your doctor may also recommend lower frequencies depending on the severity of your condition. But you should definitely see a doctor for this.

How to cure sciatica pain?

While there’s no cure for sciatica, it can be managed with the help of medication and other conservative treatment options.

In Conclusion

Massage therapy has many benefits for sciatica. It can help reduce pain and increase blood flow to the muscles. If you get frequent massages, it can also help you manage your stress and anxiety to a great extent.

Massage therapy is a good option for people looking to reduce their sciatica pain and recover from a chronic condition. Make sure that you get the massage from a therapist who is familiar with your medical history to avoid any unpleasant reactions.

Finally, stick to determine proper massage or massage therapy doesn’t make sciatica worse.



Hi, I'm Steffanie Brewer. My passion is to help people lead healthy lives by sharing my knowledge of the latest trends in health and wellness through blogging!

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.