Massage to relieve lower back pain and sciatica

Lisa has suffered both lower back pain and sciatica and has her own methods of keeping them at bay. Some years ago she had a full back pain crisis, the kind where it is agony to move and you just want to lie in bed and swallow ibuprofen until it eases. After a couple of days she could get up and walk with a stick. Physiotherapy followed, did not really help. Then she read a book that was apparently popular with King Charles. It explained that by doing simple exercises and stretches you can achieve good back health.

The main principles are firstly that your vertebrae “dry out” if not bathed in spinal fluid and there is no circulation doing this. So only by flexing your spine and pumping the fluid do the discs stay supple. Secondly the agonising pain is a protective spasm, it has the unwanted effect of stopping you moving about. So if you have a back crisis you need to move! Get out of bed and go for a walk. Easier said than done but you should ignore the pain or dull it with anti-inflammatories and then go for a walk.

If you can lie on your back and attempt a situp or a crunch this has the effect of “switching off” the muscles that are in spasm. Again it is often not possible until some of the inflammation has subsided. Once you can do them you should do at least three situps a day because it strengthens the core muscles supporting your back. I am not a fitness instructor so please take advice on core strength from an expert at the gym.

Blonde masseuse in black stockings  Yoga and Pilates

So every morning I do two yoga stretches (Cobra and Downward Dog) that flex my lower back and then half a dozen situps. This has prevented me having another another crisis for a very long time. Every morning my back feels stiff but after the stretches I feel rejuvenated and my whole body feels looser.

Sciatica. Is a consequence of lower back trouble. Inflammation in your back causes pressure on the sciatic nerve that runs down to your foot. I used to get warning symptoms of a numbness in my feet because of the nerve being pinched. Good back health should prevent it but frequent massage can ease the pain. Lisa and her friends are not afraid to massage the buttocks and the top of your legs (with permission of course). Apparently some masseuses decline to touch these areas.

Lastly don’t forget that Nurofen is a temporary fix. You should not take it for more than a week. I recently had overnight stiffness in my arm and found that natural anti inflammatories actually work! Turmeric/ginger drinks are an acquired taste but do function to reduce inflammation. And spinach and other dark green veg too.