Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain, Sleep Quality, and Breathing Function in a Sciatica Patient

Posted:Monday, November 6, 2017

Bronze Winner
Melinda Lugo
Center for Neurosomatic Studies – Clearwater, Florida


The purpose of my case study was to determine if massage, combined with inner unit stabilization exercises, could decrease pain, improve sleep quality, and increase breathing pattern functionality in a patient with sciatica. My research participant presented with low back pain classified as sciatica. She reported having issues with poor sleep quality, and had a history of recurrent pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. The patient’s goals were to have more energy, be free of pain, and get better sleep. Current research show a growing interest in the role breathing pattern disorders play in trunk stability, functional movement, and pain pathologies. I focused on treating muscle groups that would affect the patient’s back pain and breathing issues and worked with the patient to develop a home care plan that aimed to target trunk stability. The patient and I were very pleased with the results: her back pain was resolved, her sleep improved, and she was breathing better. I’m happy to report that she is still doing well.