unclench

Unclench

Take a moment to consider your clenching habits. If you’re like most people, you’re not even aware that you have been clenching your jaw, shoulders, fists and hips. Many of our physical discomforts can be traced back to the body parts we hold in a state of tension.  Below is a brief primer on how to trace from symptoms to muscles chronically tightened.

sciatic nerve_muscles

Sciatic pain and massage

The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body.     It leaves the spinal cord between the lumbar vertebrae. Herniated and degenerative discs can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.   Travelling through muscles, particularly the piriformis, can put the sciatic nerve at risk for compression.           Sciatica is characterized by signs and symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling in the low back, buttock and down back of the leg. Massage therapy can address short, tight muscles that contribute to sciatic pain. Early intervention is key to managing uncomfortable symptoms.    

coughing image

Coughing can cause muscle strain.

How many muscles does it take to cough? If you have ever had a sore belly, ribs, neck and shoulders from a cough that won’t go away, you know the answer:  A lot, more than you would have guessed.  Feeling like you had an intense workout during cold season makes you part of an under recognized group of cough-due-to-cold athletes. Muscle strain from a persistent cough will recover once the coughing ends.  In the meantime, the sore muscles can be treated like any muscle injury.  Cold packs, rest and some gentle massage can help the muscles recover quickly and fully. Every bit of self care helps during cold season!