In the TV series from the late 70’s, Battlestar Galactica introduced us to humans spread across the universe. One of the fearless leaders, Lieutenant Starbuck lead the rebellion against a huge pain in the region; the Cylons. In any given week, a customer will walk in to Alvino Massage, lead by a large cup of Starbucks. They complain of a new pain that has spread over a large part of their lower region. They call this Sciatica.
Sciatica is often blamed for many aches people are having. It is also frequently misunderstood. The sciatic nerve is very large. It runs from the lower back and through your buttocks and down your leg. This nerve transmits nerve impulses to nearly the entire part of your lower body: Your skin, the muscles in your thighs, lower legs and even your feet. It is responsible for the movement and feeling for most of your leg muscles.
If you are experiencing constant pain in only one side of your leg or buttock, a pain that is worse when you are sitting, you may be experiencing sciatica. Other symptoms may include burning, weakness or numbness, or a sharp pain when you stand. Like Cylons, sciatica may also be source of the constant pain in your butt.
Some of the causes are very serious. From a herniated disk in your lumbar to infection to degenerative disks, professional medical attention should be sought for proper diagnosis. Other times, sciatica may be caused by tight muscles pinching the nerve, pregnancy, scar tissue or muscle strains. Basically, sciatica is not a disorder, it is a symptom of another problem involving the nerve.
Depending on the cause, massage can help. At home, you can ask someone to gently massage the lower part of your back. Heat and ice may help as well. The combination of gentle pressure to the back of your leg after a warm bath may be just your ticket. And as always, explain to your therapist as precisely as possible, and they can address the soft tissue in the area. Some extra attention to your glutes and piriformis may be just what you need.
In the TV series, they used phrases like “Golmonging Daggit” to express dissatisfaction, which is eerily similar to what I hear people say. Don’t fret; time and patience generally solves most sciatica problems. If the aforementioned methods don’t help, if the pain lasts longer than you think it should, and if the pain gets worse… call a doctor!