Skip to content

The Three Dollar Sciatica Hack

Lady with back pain on couchIf you suffer from sciatica pain, you know just how debilitating it can be. It can often mean a lot of over-the-counter pain medication, frequent visits to the doctor without relief, thinking surgery is your only option, and limiting your activities to ensure you keep the pain at bay. We see it so often at Vitality Semaphore with patients who come to us because they spend each day just surviving instead of thriving. This is no way to live!

But there is hope in helping you between your chiropractic appointments, and it’s just $3. A simple $3 hack to help you retain your range of motion and start living your life free from sciatica pain.

Relief Fits in the Palm of Your Hand

Sciatica, at its core, can have many causes, from arthritis to bulged discs to stuck and stiff joints. Regardless of the cause of your sciatica, spinal healthcare professionals like surgeons, chiropractors and physiotherapists are recommending a minimum of six to eight weeks of conservative care before you discuss surgery.

With that in mind, one of the most common causes of sciatica is stuck and stiff joints associated with tight muscles in the lower back, the lumbar spine and the buttocks. The upside is that this area responds well to self-massage, which can be done with a simple $3 lacrosse ball. Some of our patients prefer to use tennis balls or spiky balls, and they all are fantastic choices for this style of self-massage.

Self-Massage has Many Benefits and is Easy to Do

There are three areas you want to work on during self-massage to alleviate sciatica pain, all while standing against the wall.

The first spot to work is along your lumbar spine, which can be found right to the side of the actual backbones in the lower part of your back. Stand up against the wall and use your pressure to push back against the ball. A little bit of discomfort is okay here – in fact, you want to search for those tight, tender spots.

You may find that when you’re pressing on some of these spots, it increases the sciatica down your leg. That’s okay, but be gentle with yourself. As you work your body against the ball and wall, try wriggling a bit from left to right as well.

The second area that can be problematic for people with sciatica is along the pelvic joints, known as the sacroiliac joints. They are located just out from the centre of your pelvis. To do this massage, push your back flat against the wall, move up and down and do a little wiggle left and right. You’re moving the lacrosse or tennis ball up and down about five to 10 centimetres, at most. And again, when you find those tender points, stop on them, increase the pressure, and add a little bit of a wiggle from side to side.

Now, the third spot you’re going to get into is deep into the buttocks. For this massage technique, rather than pressing flat back against and towards the wall, you want to press in against the wall at a little bit of an angle.

We’re working on a muscle deep inside your buttocks, called the piriformis muscle. This is often one of the big players when it comes to sciatica. So, we work in and around that area, deep in the middle of your butt, up and down and in around some circles, as you press the ball in. Your legs will likely be angled back so that you can push firmly against the wall.

With all three exercises, many patients will start to see relief within as little as 24 hours of starting them, but it can take two to three days.

Choose Chiropractic to Complement Your At-Home Work

Before you begin this self-massage regime, understand that initially, it may cause some discomfort. Many of our patients refer to it as a good sort of pain. However, it should never hurt so much that it takes your breath away. If you find it difficult to breathe while you’re doing this or the pain is too much to handle, then either lighten your pressure or try working above or below or to the side of that immediate area.

For those who prefer to use a spiky ball, a word of caution, as this can sometimes mark your wall. You might want to ensure you have something against the wall to protect it from damage.

In addition to your self-massage, chiropractic is a useful tool to add to your health and wellness routine. For a drug-free approach to living your life without the pain of sciatica, our Vitality Semaphore team provides chiropractic adjustments at our Semaphore office. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!


Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.