1. Palm and Thumb Massage
1. Place the palms of your hands on your lower back. Rub the pelvic area towards your spine and down towards your buttocks.
2. Next, place your hands at your waist with your thumbs on the ropelike muscles near the spine. Wrap your fingers around your sides.
3. Using your thumbs, apply a firm and steady pressure toward the spine on the outer edges of the ropey muscles, so that your thumbs are about four inches apart.
4. Apply pressure without causing discomfort.
2. Tennis Ball Massage
1. Using tennis balls is an easy way to apply acupressure to your lower back.
2. Place the two tennis balls close together in a towel or sock. Place them on the floor.
3. Sit down on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, place the balls behind you.
4. Gradually recline your body until you are lying on your back on the floor, with the balls on the sore area of your back. Rest in this position if you can for one minute.
5. When the back tension is relieved, move the balls to another area of your back.
6. Slowly roll onto your side into a comfortable fetal position, using your arm under your head (as a pillow). Rest in this position for five minutes before getting up.
3. Knuckle Pressure
1. Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Make fists and carefully place them on the left and right side of your lower back.
3. Position your fists so your palms are facing down and your knuckles are against your back.
4. Your fists should be between the spine and your lower back muscles. Rest in this position if you can for one minute.
5. Slowly roll onto your side into a comfortable fetal position, using your arm under your head (as a pillow). Rest in this position for five minutes before getting up.
4. Sciatica Stretches
Consider Investing in Personal Care Equipment
If you have any type of back, hip, or leg pain, you might consider purchasing some items to help relieve the pain with acupressure.
· Tennis Balls as described in #1 above.
· Kong Dog Toy: This wedge-shaped toy can be placed under your hip, while you lie on your side. It increases pressure as you roll on it.
· Spinal Roller – This hard tube is covered with a thick foam. These work well for hip pain.
· Knobble – This is for a more focused pressure applied to specific spots on the hip.
· Body Back Buddy – This is my favorite tool for acupressure. It is an S-shaped tool with knobs of various sizes and shapes for different pressure points on the body.
When Moving Hurts
The challenge with sciatica and with any type of pain is movement. Lying or sitting down for extended periods of time can cause muscles to become stiff and weak. Exercise will increase blood flow, provide additional oxygen to the body, and as the muscles warm-up, they will also loosen up.
If exercise is a challenge, consider something with a low impact such as swimming, water aerobics, or yoga. As always, before taking up any exercise or self-treatment talk with your health practitioner first.
Finding a massage therapist familiar with sciatica is a wonderful option. Give us a call and schedule time with our trained therapists. Ask them about specific stretches and self-massage that you can do at home to provide relief when you need it.