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See our high-level takeaways below, or skip to our full review!Our Take:
- Ergonomic handle design
- Louder than some competitor devices
- Premium materials
- Therabody app provides suggested routines
- Bluetooth connected app
- Multiple price points
- Deep-kneading massage
Jump to: Full Review
- Patented QuietGlide technology
- No ergonomic handle
- Industry-leading percussions per minute
- Some find the massage isn't as deep as competition
- TSA approved for carry-on
- Bluetooth connected app
- Multiple price points
Jump to: Full Review
Millions of people suffer from sciatica at one time in their lives. Even those who have never suffered from this pain know the word is associated with severe, sometimes debilitating pain. But what is sciatica? What causes it and what are some common treatments?
How To Use Theragun For Sciatica
If you are searching for relief from sciatica pain, you are not alone. Sciatica can be the source of intense pain, and sometimes you need relief when you can’t get to the doctor or physical therapist. This is where the Theragun and other percussion devices work best. Massage guns may be a great supplement to your more formal medical treatment, but they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for medical attention to acute pain.
Consult with your doctor about acute sciatica pain, or any lower back pain you feel you need treatment for. Once you have done so, massage therapy may be a great complementary treatment to alleviate pain symptoms. To properly use the Theragun, choose the attachment and grip that are most comfortable for you, and don’t hesitate to change either to improve comfort.
Then utilize the massage gun to loosen hip flexors, hamstrings, the tensor fasciae latae (TFL), and abductor leg muscles before transitioning to the lower back. You should use the percussion device for about 15 seconds on each muscle group, but no longer than two minutes. You may find that using yourTheragun two or three times per day provides the best relief.
One thing that is great about a tool such as a massage gun is that once you have it, your entire family may appreciate using it. The improved blood circulation promoted by the deep tissue massage relieves sore muscles and may help loosen your range of motion. A percussion gun works great for fostering recovery for the athletes and weekend warriors in your life.
Massage releases the lactic acid build-up that results in muscle tightness. So while a Theragun or Hyperice massager may work well for relieving chronic pain, it isn’t limited to that functionality. Everyone in your home may love a massage gun for one reason or another.
What Is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It runs from the lumbar region of the lower back down through the hips, buttocks, and legs. The nerve ends just below the knee. The nerve, which is also the thickest nerve in the body, then branches out into other nerves which all continue down the leg from the knee into the lower leg, foot, and toes.
Sciatica is pain that runs along the path of the sciatic nerve and occurs when the nerve is compressed due to a herniated spinal disk, bone spur in the spine, or narrowing of the spine called spinal stenosis. Sciatica generally only affects one side of the body. Although rare, it is possible for both sides of the body to be affected at the same time.
The pain of sciatica follows the nerve from the back down the leg. The pain is generally felt on the outside or front of the leg.
In addition to pain, the pressure on the nerve causes a sense of tightness, pulling, and what is often described as unbearable pain. You may also experience numbness and a tingling sensation in the affected limb.
Often, the pain is increased when you cough or sneeze. Prolonged sitting in one position or standing for long periods of time may both be causes of increased pain.
Sciatica pain is described in different ways. It may be a shooting or stabbing pain. Others describe it as a burning pain. It may be constant, or it may come and go. The pain is generally more severe in the affected leg than in the lower back.
Mild sciatica often goes away on its own within a few days without treatment. In other situations, self-care measures work to relieve the pain. If self-care measures do not work, then you should consult with your health care provider and there is a chance that surgery may be indicated.
One thing worth noting is that piriformis syndrome also irritates the sciatic nerve when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve. For this reason and many others, if you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica, you should see a medical professional for guidance. In some instances, sciatica is actually piriformis syndrome.
How Do You Get Sciatica?
Although it may be impossible to pinpoint the cause of sciatica, there are some common contributing factors.
A spinal disk may become damaged in an accident or become herniated due to osteoarthritis that occurs during the aging process. A herniated disk protrudes into the spinal cavity and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is the source of the pain.
Sometimes, muscle spasms or cramps put pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica. Regular exercise to strengthen your core assists with proper posture and body alignment, which are key factors in preventing sciatica.
Those who are overweight are more likely to suffer from sciatica. This is because the more weight you carry around, the greater the strain on your back muscles. This strain, in turn, puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, which then causes sciatica.
Maintaining proper posture when you sit is one way to prevent sciatica. Your chair should provide good lower back support and have armrests. Your knees and hips should be level.
You can also get sciatica by failing to use good body mechanics. If you stoop over to lift a heavy object, lifting from this position puts strain on your lower back and can result in sciatica.
Always move straight up and down when lifting heavy objects. Only bend your knees while keeping your back straight. Let your legs do the lifting work. Not your back.
Even those who follow principles of good body mechanics may still get sciatica if they work in jobs that require heavy lifting.
More than half of pregnant women experience sciatica. This occurs when the weight of the baby puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Are Massage Guns Good For Sciatica?
There are several treatments for sciatica. For the first few days of pain, simple stretching exercises along with cold packs to the lower back and to particularly painful areas along the affected leg may help relieve the pain.
After a few days, apply heat to the lower back and painful areas. Alternating hot and cold may also be beneficial. Continue stretching exercises.
When doing stretching exercises, avoid twisting or jerking. Slowly stretch and then hold the stretch for approximately 30 seconds.
Over-the-counter medications often help to relieve the pain. Some people find sciatica pain relief with the help of acupuncture or chiropractic care.
Massage guns are another treatment option. These devices help with releasing tension and increasing blood flow to the surrounding muscles, which helps relieve the pain. Massage guns provide both percussive and vibration therapy.
One cause of muscle pain that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve is a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles. Massage gun therapy removes the lactic acid and thereby lessens the soreness and pain.
The magazine “Runners World” notes that Theragun is a massage gun that helps reduce sciatic nerve pain by “releasing tension and increasing blood flow to name a few. The percussive motion of the Theragun actually relieves the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve and helps release the pressure on the nerve.”
Keep in mind, massage guns are very versatile. The most common use is for deep tissue massage to help recover from muscle fatigue after a workout. A massage gun goes deeper than foam rollers and provides more immediately noticeable recovery. Still, others use massage guns to relieve plantar fasciitis, while still others have been known to use massage guns to reduce cellulite. A massage gun’s ability to reduce muscle tension and promote blood circulation makes it unique.
How To Use Massage Gun For Sciatica
A massage gun provides percussion or vibration therapy. When the percussion device is rolled back and forth across the impacted muscles, it increases the blood flow to the affected muscle, which in turn removes the built-up lactic acid. This percussive therapy relieves tight muscles, which may better enable the muscles to promote improved posture, etc.
Start by choosing the attachment (massage head) that works best for you. The dampener works well for lower back pain, but most massage devices come with an assortment of massage heads so that you can personalize your experience. Once you’ve chosen your preferred massage head and grip, you can get started.
Start by using the massage gun along your hip flexors for 15 seconds. Make sure to awaken the hip flexors muscles on both sides before moving the massage gun around to treat the hamstrings. Then use the massage gun to cover the outside of your leg and abductor muscles that run on the insides of your leg, up from above your knee. Stick with 15 seconds of treatment for each muscle group, and adjust the speed and attachments for comfort.
Once your supporting leg muscles have been awakened, then you can use the massage gun on the lower back, near where the sciatic pain is. Keep the massage gun on the muscle and away from the spinal cord.
As effective as the device is, do not just reach for your Theragun and begin your own self-treatment. Follow instructions on how to use Theragun for sciatica, and consult with your medical professionals before deciding on any treatment options.
Physical therapy is an important tool for treating conditions such as sciatica, but we also understand you may not have an endless budget for a massage therapist in between physical therapy visits.
Your muscles will be sore and sensitive, so you must adjust the speed and depth. After you have set these to meet your specific requirement, then turn on the Theragun and put it on your lower back. Then move to your thigh muscle and then to your calf.
The Theragun should only be used for one minute at each of these locations. You can slowly increase the time to two to three minutes.
It is important to let the Theragun float and not put pressure on it. Always follow the instructions that come with the product. Do not use the massage gun on any bony areas or joints in case you have any osteoporosis, arthritis, or other musculoskeletal issues.
Sciatica generally goes away within about six weeks. If you have been suffering from sciatica for longer than six weeks and it is not getting any better, you should contact your healthcare provider.
You should also contact your health care provider if your pain is unbearable, or you are having any loss of bladder or bowel control. Also, if your sciatica was precipitated by an accident of any kind, you should consult with your health care provider.
Best Massager For Sciatica
There are a few different considerations that may impact which massager works best for sciatica. The first is whether or not you are able to comfortably reach your lower back without discomfort in your wrist. For this reason, the Theragun Pro may be the best option. It features a triangular ergonomic handle that allows for multiple grips and a rotating arm that will enable you to perfectly position the massager head as you need it.
The Theragun Pro is a professional-grade massager, and thus many will compare Theragun Pro vs Hypervolt Plus or Hypervolt Pro, but only the Theragun Pro features both the ergonomic handle design and the rotating arm. So, while it may be professional-grade, and come at a professional price, it may also be the best suited to reach your lower back.
The Hyperice team has come out with a few new Hypervolt devices, including the Hypervolt 2 and Hypervolt 2 Pro, but for the most part, we still prefer the features on the Theragun models. In comparing the Theragun Pro vs Elite models, you will notice that the Pro model has the adjustable arm and interchangeable batteries; however, the Elite model still has advanced functionality. Compared to the Prime model, the Elite model still has an OLED screen with a force meter, and all three models connect to guided app routines via Bluetooth.
The other big consideration is portability. If you experience discomfort while at work, or away from your house, then you may prefer a device such as the Hypervolt Go or Theragun Mini. We appreciate the attempt at the ergonomic triangular design associated with the Theragun Mini, but in this smaller form, some may find the Hypervolt Go easier to grip.
In a best-case scenario, you may have the Theragun Pro at home, and the Hypervolt Go in your car or work bag, but in absence of purchasing both, decide whether the power and arm’s range of motion offered by the Theragun Pro or the portability offered by the Hypervolt Go is most important to you.
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