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The best massage for sciatica pain relief

Lower back massage to soothe sciatica

About this post

Sciatica can be a literal pain in the butt. In this guide, our in-house massage expert Patrik recommends the best treatments to ease pressure on the sciatic nerve and in turn provide relief.

Posted by

Emily from Urban


  • Health conditions
  • Physiotherapy
  • Sports massage
  • Massage


If you’re tired of dealing with ongoing sciatica pain, you’ll probably be more than open to trying new forms of pain relief. So what if we told you that a massage can be tailored to treat sciatica pain and help ease discomfort?

In this post we’ll run through the different techniques therapists can use to free up tension in painful areas, and which Urban massages feature these magical moments. We’ll also help you decide which is the best massage for sciatica to help your specific symptoms.

Sciatica can be a pain in the butt, literally

It’s a pain that’s caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs all the way from your lower back to your feet. This can cause all types of pain, from a mild ache in the legs to sharp jolts of pain along the nerve.

Sports massage for sciatica demonstrated on client

Can massage help sciatica?

Yep! The main ways a sciatica massage can help is by relaxing tight muscles around the sciatic nerve, boosting blood flow and reducing stress. A specialist will use specific techniques on the affected areas causing sciatic pain to ease the tension.

There are a few sciatica pain relief massage techniques that can be great for dealing with these symptoms, which includes:

Trigger point therapy

During a massage you might notice some spots are more sensitive than others. These small, tight areas in taut bands of muscle fibres and fascia (connective tissue) are known as trigger points or – more commonly – knots.

Trigger points can be painful to touch, but massage is a way to release them.

By applying pressure and stretching out the muscle, trigger point therapy can release knots that might be aggravating your sciatica.

Deep tissue massage typically features trigger point therapy, but there are other treatments we offer at Urban that are delivered by therapists qualified in this technique.

Trigger therapy features in these Urban treatments:


Deep tissue manipulation

The slow, firm strokes used in a deep tissue massage reach deep into the layers of your muscle and connective tissue. Manipulating these tissues helps to align them, addressing imbalance in the body which can be a cause of sciatic nerve compression.

Unlike lighter massage techniques (like those used in a Swedish or relaxing massage), deep tissue manipulation can be a little painful at times. It should never feel unbearable (if it is, let your pro know!). This temporary discomfort is a sign issues are being addressed at their core.

As well as providing relief from sciatica, deep tissue massage can help with your overall posture, flexibility, range of motion and energy. It’s best booked with a duration of 90 minutes or more to allow your therapist to zone in on areas of tension.

Deep tissue techniques feature in these Urban treatments:

Myofascial release

Your myofascial tissues have the important job of keeping your muscles supported. But when you use the same muscles over and over, these tissues can become sensitive and tight. It’s quite common for people with physical jobs to get this type of pain, and it’s a key culprit for creating trigger points.

It’s quite common for people with physical jobs to experience myofascial pain

Myofascial release is a way to treat this that’s less intense than trigger point therapy and deep tissue manipulation. Myofascial release focuses on the surrounding connective tissues that support your muscles, whereas trigger point therapy and deep tissue manipulation focus specifically on the sensitive spots (knots, trigger points) causing you pain.

Your therapist will use targeted pressure and gentle stretching across a wide area of your muscles – not just on specific spots. If they find any areas that feel ridgid, they’ll use light manual pressure to ease any stiffness.

This massage technique can help with sciatica pain by improving mobility as it releases tension in your myofascial tissues, which can ease pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Myofascial release features in these Urban treatments:

Passive stretching with a therapist can help ease sciatica

Muscle stretching

Using a combination of stretching and massage is another way massage therapists can release tension along the sciatic nerve pathway. Stretching your muscles helps with flexibility, in turn reducing any tension that’s making your nerve compression worse. It also helps with relaxing your muscles, and this will put less pressure on the sciatic nerve for less pain and discomfort.

Urban’s assisted stretching treatment – where an expert does the stretching for you – is ideal for getting a deep, cat-like stretch. As sciatica affects the lower back, legs and glutes, these are the areas your pro will focus on. 

Simply let your stretch pro know about your condition after booking (via in app chat or at the start of your appointment), and they’ll adapt the stretches to you. moving you into a series of positions to release muscle tension. 

Thai yoga massage is another Urban treatment great for this. It’s the best of both worlds, mixing dynamic stretching to increase flexibility with medium-strong pressure massage.

Muscle stretching features in these Urban treatments:

Which sciatica massage is best for you?

Choosing the right massage for sciatica largely depends on your personal condition and your own preferences. If you’re feeling tight, we’d suggest booking a treatment to target your knots with a deep tissue or sports massage. Or if you think you’d benefit more from a good stretch (which is especially good for sciatica), try assisted stretching – Thai yoga massage is a nice blend of both! 

When choosing your pro, take a look at what other treatments they offer – if they specialise in other similar treatments like injury/pain management, assisted stretching and sports massage, it’s likely they can mix and match techniques to benefit your specific concerns.

Once you have a booking in place, you can speak with your chosen qualified therapist either in the app chat or in person to discuss your symptoms in more depth. They can then come up with a more personalised treatment plan to help you deal with your discomfort.

Don’t stress, we can tailor your treatment

It’s also handy to note that all Urban treatments can be tailored to your own needs, simply have a chat with your therapist beforehand via the app chat or in person to let them know your preferences. They’ll use the techniques they think are best for your condition, providing a sciatica pain relief massage to help you with your symptoms.

Side twist yoga position

Self-care massage for sciatica

In between treatments, there are at-home massage techniques you could try yourself to help deal with your sciatica pain.

1. Grab yourself some tennis balls

Put two tennis balls together in a sock. Wherever your pain is, place your handmade roller underneath and roll yourself back and forth to release the tension.

2. Palm and thumb massage

Put your hands around your waist with your fingers pointing towards your belly button and thumbs pointing inwards to your back. Use your thumbs to apply gentle pressure along the outer muscles of your back, moving slowly down towards the lower spine. When you feel any tense spots, apply a firm pressure and massage towards the spine.

3. Stretch your spine

Sit on the floor, legs extended and back upright. Bend your right leg crossing it over your left knee and put your foot flat on the floor. Slowly twist your upper body to the right, reaching your right arm behind and placing your palm flat on the ground behind your back. If that feels like enough for you, you can stop there.

For a more intense stretch, twist until your left elbow touches the right knee and hold for about half a minute, then start again from the top. Repeat this stretch, switching sides with your left leg crossed over your right knee, to give your spine a soothing stretch.

A mobile massage table in front of a window on a wooden floor

Or book a qualified therapist to come to you...

If you’d rather leave it to the professional, download the Urban app and you could have a professional knock on the door in just 60 minutes.

From at-home physiotherapy to tailored massage treatments, easing your sciatica pain can be hassle-free – you can easily slot your booking into your daily routine.

Book now