The sciatic nerve is the largest body nerve that originates in the lower back and runs down to both of your legs, extending from one buttock all throughout your thighs. It gives us the ability to extend our legs, bend them at the knee and hip joints. Sciatic pain can be caused by a number of issues like compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease (degeneration in the spine which leads to weakness), or narrowing spinal canal present inside your vertebrae bones. The pain starts in the lower back, goes down through your buttock and leg. The side of your foot hurts too while you feel numbness or weakness all over the affected area. However, scientific research found that a tennis ball for sciatica relieves sciatic and back pain.
How a tennis ball relieves sciatic and back pain
A therapy that involves massage with a tennis ball for sciatica has been proven to relieve pain. It is based on the principles of massage, acupressure, and reflexology to alleviate muscle pain and relieve tension. Scientific research found that this therapy boosts the range of motion, treats pain, and heals low back pain and sciatica symptoms. A tennis ball can irritate the piriformis muscle, which is located near the sciatic nerve. This irritation pushes on that nerve and causes pain in one’s buttocks or leg. The tennis ball presses the trigger points in this muscle, relieves the tension in the muscle, and boosts mobility and blood circulation in the area. Therefore, this massage is good not only for sciatica but for back pain and latissimus dorsi pain.
Now, here is how to perform this massage:
Painful knots in the muscles are known as trigger points. Sit or lie on the floor, and place a tennis ball under your knee cap to find these painful areas. Shift all of your weight onto this area with one leg straight out, so you can feel any increased tenderness in that specific spot — it is likely where you have some major pain if there’s nothing stopping you from moving further! Place a ball on the pain spot and press down gently to release direct pressure. Rollback and forth with gentle movements for about 15 seconds each time, moving from one painful area to another if there are more than two spots that require attention. If you feel sharp or intense pain as your doing this massage, stop immediately in order not to damage any muscles or nerves further!
Additionally, the following tips will help you relieve sciatic pain:
- Heat and cold therapy is an excellent way to battle inflammation, reduce pain at the source of injury, and decrease discomfort.
- There are multiple techniques you can try to lower sciatica pain, like deep breathing exercises (meditation), guided imagery, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
- Perform low-impact aerobic exercises and stretching exercises to stretch the hamstrings
- In some cases, the pain might be so intense that it’s impossible to go on without medication. If this is your case, talk with a doctor about prescribing medications for you which will help reduce the discomfort of symptoms.
If you are not feeling any relief from these tips, it is important to visit the doctor. They may prescribe treatments like chiropractic manipulation or epidural steroid injections for pain caused by something other than sciatica.