How to Massage Sciatica Trigger Points: Ultimate Guide

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The good news is that there are many ways you can relieve your sciatica with self-care! Massage therapy is an option for those looking to get relief from their sciatica pain. It’s crucial to find the right person to do this type of work for you.

In this article, I will share an ultimate guide on how to massage sciatica trigger points for different types of self-massage or massage therapy.

What is sciatica trigger point?


Sciatica is a medical term that refers to pain in the sciatic nerve area. The most common cause of this problem have cysts or herniated discs, but many cases are due to muscle problems.

Sciatica trigger points are soft tissue knots in the muscles which refer pain to another location. These tiny spots are hyperirritable and cause great discomfort, as well as pain if pressure is put on them.

What is sciatica pain?

Sciatica pain, or radiculopathy, is extreme discomfort that can run down the back of your leg all the way to your foot. This pain can feel like a tingling sensation and will typically become worse with movement.

Tips for Using Sciatica Trigger Point Massage

There are a few ways to locate and treat sciatica trigger points massage.

Discovering them is not all that difficult. They can be felt under the skin and are usually extremely tight, almost like little hard balls in your muscles. When you find one of these, it’s important to work around it rather than directly on top of it.

1) Sciatica trigger point massage on the Piriformis syndrome

To massage on piriformis using the sciatica trigger point therapy, place one finger over the piriformis muscle with your thumb on top of that. With light pressure, very slowly massage in a circle going both directions around the muscle.


This will help to get blood flowing through this area and relieve tension which can refer to pain down the sciatic nerve.

Always work gently on these trigger points. You want to bring blood flow to this area, not make things worse.

2) Sciatica trigger point massage in Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an older treatment used for pain relief of the body. It utilizes very thin needles inserted into the skin which are then stimulated with heat or electricity to bring the desired effect in your system depending on where they’re needed.


For sciatica treatment, needles are placed along the spine and around the hips as they relate to sciatica pain. This type of acupuncture is used to bring about healing on a holistic level by affecting the nervous system.

3) Massage for sciatica on the spinal erectors and quads

The guide on sciatica trigger point therapy or massage on the spinal erector and quads is quite easy.

The spinal erector muscle is located on each side of the spine and runs down the back. This muscle is used for lifting and holding us upright so when it’s tight or short, it can put pressure on our sciatic nerve. Massaging these will help relieve that tension which in turn will do a world of good for sciatica pain.

spinal erectors

To massage, these tight muscles, lay on your stomach below a pillow so that you can rest your head comfortably. Then place one hand at the base of each muscle and give them soft strokes in an upward direction. Do this several times before switching sides to work the other affected side. You’ll feel the muscle slowly begin to loosen up under your fingers.

You’ll feel these muscles tighten as you sleep, so be sure that you do this every day for maximum relief!

Treating the quads for sciatica is a bit different because it involves holding that leg up into the air. The aim of this exercise is to improve circulation to the area, which will help with healing.

When you do this, don’t hold the leg so high that it’s painful but just enough to feel a nice stretch in your quad-tight muscles. Hold this for about 30 seconds and then switch sides. You’ll notice how much more relaxed the other side feels after doing this exercise!

4) Sciatica trigger point in hot stone massage

A hot stone massage uses heated stones to penetrate the skin and increase blood flow. It’s custom-fit to your areas of concern and can make a big difference for those with sciatic problems.

You’ll need one large towel to lay down for this type of massage, or you could buy an envelope-style heating pad that utilizes sheepskin which is soft but still reaches high temperatures providing soothing effects while hot stone massaging.

Hot stone massage

The steps for these massages are fairly simple as well. It’s all about knowing where your trigger points are so they can be targeted in same ways they would be during a regular spine stretch routine by cupping them underneath blankets or pillows while lowering gradually towards the floor.

Doing this lifting up again will allow the muscle to stretch and bring about healing. For additional relief, follow this up with a hot stone massage treatment.

5) Self-massage for sciatica on the iliopsoas

Iliopsoas is inner thigh muscle and it controls the motion of our hip. It can refer to a lot of sciatica pain in the body due to tension and tightness. So be sure you work this area out well with self-massage.


While an experienced massage therapist will know how to target this area, also, it’s easy enough to find out where by placing hands over the front and back of pelvis bone. The iliopsoas is just at the top of that right above where the leg meets the hip.

This area can get strained from lots of sitting so be sure to stretch this out before using a foam roller since you’ll be massaging directly over this muscle.

Make sure you find the tightest areas and then roll back and forth (this is better done with a foam roller to get the most relief). You’ll feel that tension release as you go!

6) Self-massage for sciatica on the gluteus medius and glute

The gluteus medius and glute are muscles at the top of our thigh. They help us raise our legs, both while walking and kicking a ball. You can self-massage them to relieve sciatica symptoms!

Stand in a wide stance with one foot slightly in front (to form an “L”) and the other behind that “L”. Wrap your arm around the back to support yourself, or lean against a wall if possible for more stability.

gluteus medius

Breathe as you lift your rear foot off the ground by pointing it toes upwards (your knee will squeeze downwards slightly) then exhale as you lower it down again, bringing it two inches from touching the surface.

Allow the weight of your leg to hang, again pointing toes upwards and exhale as you bring it up again. This is one rep. Do 10 reps or until fatigued.

7) Use sciatica trigger point on Deep tissue massage

To use the sciatica trigger point for deep tissue massage, you can do a number of different techniques. The best way is to lie flat on your stomach and place a hand towel under your hips or do this with legs elevated with hands in between at all times.

Deep Tissue Massage

Apply pressure to the buttock muscles which will release tension and relieve pain from the spine as well as allow the pressure of gravity on these muscles to alleviate any tightness.

You can also use fingers bilaterally or unilaterally in a pinching motion underneath both sides of your gluteus maximus muscle. Press down deeply against this muscle while holding it until you feel relief!

3 Ways to self-massage for sciatica nerve pain relief

Self-massage is a tried and tested self-care practice that you can use to ease your sciatica nerve pain.  It works by stimulating the lymphatic system to help rid the body of toxins that may have accumulated due to a buildup of scar tissue in the affected area.

Here are 3 easy self-massage techniques to help you get rid of your sciatica nerve pain at home.

1) Palm and thumb massage:

Palm and thumb massage

This technique is great for relieving tension in the lower back due to sciatica nerve pain. Doing palm and thumb massage, you can work out those stubborn knots in the muscles of your lower back.

Below are the process of doing this massage yourself.

  • Sit on a chair, with your feet planted firmly on the ground.  
  • Place your left palm on top of your right thigh, then slowly rotate your torso to the left until you feel a stretch in your lower back.  You should be able to feel the stretch in the lumbar region.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds, then slowly rotate your torso to the right and hold it for another 30 seconds.

Repeat this self-massage technique several times throughout the day.

2) Tennis ball massage:

Tennis ball massage

A tennis ball is the best tool for this massage. Doing this massage technique is easy.  All you have to do is place the tennis ball under the area where you are feeling the sciatica nerve pain.

Below are the process of doing this massage yourself.

  • Lay down on the floor.
  • Place a tennis ball under the affected area and slowly rotate your torso to the left, feeling the stretch in your lower back.  Make sure you keep your knees pointing straight ahead and not out to the sides.
  • Slowly roll over the tennis ball to ensure that you target all areas of the lower back.
  • When you find a particularly tender spot, hold your weight on that spot for 30 seconds, and then gently roll over it again.
  • Repeat this self-massage technique several times throughout the day.
  • If the pain gets worse, stop and consult a doctor.

3) Knuckle massage:

Knuckle massage

This is a great self-massage technique to do in the morning when you are still lying in bed. This massage method is good for sciatica nerve pain that is caused by a herniated disc.

Here is the process of doing this massage yourself:

  • Lay flat on your back, with both legs, stretched out straight.
  • Clasp your right hand with your left hand, then slowly work for the clasped hands in a circular motion around the sciatic nerve area in your back. Make sure you keep both of your legs still and relaxed, with toes pointing slightly outward.
  • Do this massage technique for about 5 minutes daily when you first wake up in the morning.
  • If your sciatica nerve pain gets worse, stop and consult a doctor.

Benefits of These 3 Simple Self-massage Techniques

They help to increase blood circulation which allows for more oxygen to travel to the muscles and tissues.  This, in turn, reduces inflammation and pain.  It can also help to break up scar tissue and adhesions, which may be the source of your sciatica nerve pain.

They make you feel relaxed and at ease as stress is a major factor for many illnesses such as heart disease and depression (which can lead to chronic back pain).

Finding the Right Massage Therapist

Finding the right massage therapist is not an easy task. The best way to find one who can help with your specific needs is to take stock of your symptoms. Also consider what you’re looking for in a treatment, and your budget.

If you are looking for someone who concentrates strictly on pain management, try contacting complementary therapy clinics in the area. You may also be able to get an appointment at a physical therapy office or see if there’s a chiropractor who performs massage therapy too!

Once you have narrowed down which type of practitioner it might be helpful to look up some reviews of their work online so that you know they are legit and see what other patients have had to say about their treatments!

Also, you can consult with your doctors to find the right massage therapists for your sciatica trigger points massage.

FAQs of Sciatic

How do you release a sciatic nerve?

A neurological medical condition that causes pain, numbness, and weakness radiating from the lower spine to one or both legs is sciatica.

Sciatic nerve stretches across the buttock where it connects with several muscles and nerves around it.

That means when there’s a pinched or compressed nerve in this area usually caused by lumbar disc herniation (when a diseased disk presses on the nerve), injuries to these body parts are associated with deep pressure, sciatica relief may be possible using massage therapy techniques such as trigger point release.

Are massage guns good for sciatica?

Massage guns are a form of deep tissue therapy, which is why they’re often used to release muscle tension.

Massage techniques like these can help relieve back pain, sciatica, and other chronic muscle problems. So it’s important that anyone receiving treatment with massage guns knows not to use them on sore or inflamed skin as this can lead to infection!

Bottom Line:

Sciatica is a condition that causes pain, numbness, and weakness to radiate from the lower spine up one or both legs. It’s caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve which can be relieved with deep tissue massage techniques such as trigger point release massages and dry needling treatments in many cases.

If you are looking for someone who specializes in these types of treatment services, it might be helpful to find reviews online so that you know they’re legit!

*Disclaimer: This blog post is for informative purposes only. This information should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider.  If you are experiencing any kind of sciatica nerve pain, consult your doctor immediately before trying any of these self-massage techniques.

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.

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