Pressure Points for Sciatica Pain

Written by: Kevin Cash



Time to read 8 min

Sciatica pain is a condition that occurs when the sciatica nerve becomes compressed. This causes intense pain in the lower back, buttocks, and down the back of the legs.

This pain can cause a lot of discomfort and may temporarily reduce the physical activities you can perform.

So, how can you treat this pain? If you are experiencing this pain, a great way to relieve sciatica pain is through stimulating various pressure points around the body.

In this article, we'll discuss various pressure points—heel, leg, back, glute, and hand—that you can use to relieve sciatica and discuss how to locate them.

We will also teach you the best way to massage these pressure points so that you can find relief and ease sciatica pain.

9 Pressure Points for Sciatica

Woman having Sciatica Pain

Acupressure or stimulation of pressure points is an alternative medicine methodology with roots in ancient China. Treatment effects are achieved by stimulating pressure points using acute pressure.

Studies suggest that acupressure is more effective at relieving the pain, numbness, and tingling associated with sciatica compared to modern medicinal treatments.

They have been observed to assist in reprogramming the muscles, encouraging them to maintain a relaxed state.

Acute pressure block of the sciatic nerve is a newly reported analgesic method based on a current neuroscience concept: stimulation of the peripheral nerves increases the pain threshold.

These treatments aid in addressing sciatica by triggering the release of natural pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins and enkephalins, from both the brain and the nervous system.

A diverse range of pressure points is linked to the treatment of sciatica pain, as well as addressing general back and leg discomfort.

In this section, we will take a close look at the pressure for sciatica pain that can be found in various parts of the body.

We will also discuss exactly where to locate them, how they help sciatica, and any other ailments they may be helpful for.

Heel Pressure Points

1. Bladder 60 (B 60 or BL 60) - Kunlun or Kunlun Mountains
B 60 pressure point

Kunlun is a pressure point located on the heel of the foot. The pressure point is found on the outside of the heel, in the deep groove next to the outside ankle bone.

This location of Kunlun is on the pathway of the bladder meridian. Stimulating the Kunlun pressure point is believed to offer relief from sciatica by easing the tension or blockages along the bladder meridian.

Activating this pressure point is also thought to release stagnant energy, reduce inflammation, and relax the surrounding muscles and nerves, potentially easing the pain associated with sciatica.

Experts believe that it influences the lower back, buttocks, and leg areas—common regions affected by sciatica. Activating Kunlun will help to relieve pain in the associated leg.

This pressure point is also used to help induce labor or to tend to the pains of labor.

2. Urinary Bladder 62 (UB 62) - Shenmai or Extending Vessel

UB 62 pressure point

Urinary Bladder 62 or the Shenmai pressure point can be found below the outer ankle bone on each foot.

Activation of this pressure point may alleviate tension in the back and could potentially aid in reducing overall anxiety levels.

Shenmai, as an ankle pressure point, serves multiple purposes:

  • It's beneficial for headaches and insomnia
  • It can aid in immediate care for a sprained ankle

Stimulating Shenmai aims to regulate this energy flow, potentially easing clinical pain and discomfort caused by sciatic nerve irritation or compression.

Leg Pressure Points

1. Stomach 36 (ST36) - Zu San Li or Three Mile Point
ST 36

The Stomach 36 or Zu San Li pressure point is situated on the lower leg, about 4 finger widths below the bottom of the kneecap and 1 finger width from the shin towards the outside of the leg.

Stimulating this pressure point is believed to aid in alleviating sciatic nerve pain specifically pain in the back, legs, and hips. This can contribute to easing the tension and stiffness often associated with sciatica.

While it's not directly on the sciatic nerve pathway, this pressure point is believed to influence the flow of Qi energy throughout the body increasing overall energy levels, as well as decreasing anxiety.

2. Bladder 40 (B 40 or BL 40) - Weizhong or Supporting Middle

B 40 pressure point

Weizhong pressure point can be found directly in the back of each knee, specifically at the midpoint of the popliteal crease, between the tendons of the biceps femoris and semitendinosus muscle.

Functions of the Weizhong pressure point include:

  • Clearing Heat
  • Resolves Dampness
  • Benefits the Lumbar Area and Knees
  • Cools the Blood

Utilizing this pressure point is known for treating any pain in the spinal cord and can help with leg pain from sciatica.

The Weizhong pressure point is also beneficial for addressing muscle spasms, knee stiffness, and general arthritis, offering relief from associated stiffness commonly experienced with sciatica.

Weizhong is an excellent point for any low back condition, acute or chronic. It is also known to help skin conditions.

Back Pressure Points

1. Bladder 47 (B 47 or BL 47) - Will’s Chamber
B 47 pressure point

The Will’s Chamber pressure point is located on the lower back and can be found four finger widths from the spine on both sides.

Activation of Will’s Chamber is known to be beneficial in managing acute sciatica pain. This point is connected to the bladder meridian, which is associated with the lower back and leg regions.

The acupoint can help relax the muscles in the lower back, helping relieve overall muscle stiffness.

Will’s Chamber is also often used to alleviate gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, and indigestion.

2. Bladder 23 (B 23) - Shenshu or Kidney Shu or Sea of Vitality

B 23 pressure point

Shenshu pressure point is located on the lower back halfway between the hip bone and the start of your ribs. This acupressure point is linked to the kidney meridian with the close relationship with the lower back and leg regions.

Activating Shenshu is known to help regulate the blood in the lower back, which can help reduce muscle tension and back pain, and potentially ease sciatic nerve pain and associated discomfort.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, Shenshu also holds importance in maintaining kidney health and vitality, making it a valuable approach for safeguarding against different types of disease targeting the kidney.

Functions of the Shenshu pressure point include:

  • Strengthens the Kidneys
  • Benefits the Ears and Bones
  • Strengthens the Low Back
  • Resolves Dampness

Glute Pain and Hip Pressure Points

1. Gallbladder 30 (GB 30) - Huantiao or Jumping Round
GB 30 pressure point

The huantiao pressure point is located in the glutes. This pressure point can be found on the outer side of the buttocks, halfway between the hip bone and the base of the buttock on either side.

Spasms in the piriformis muscle, situated in the buttocks, often lead to buttock pain and are a frequent source of sciatic pain. In these situations, Huantiao pressure point stimulation is commonly an effective treatment in potentially easing this discomfort of the piriformis muscle.

Stimulating Huantiao helps relax the gluteal muscles, reducing tension and easing stiffness commonly associated with sciatica. It can help release the tension and blockages along the pathway of the sciatic nerve, thereby reducing pain and discomfort associated with sciatica.

This pressure point is associated with the Gallbladder meridian, which traverses the lower body. This is a great pressure point for relieving leg pain as well as hip and lower back pain.

Hand Pressure Points

1. Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) - Hegu or Union Valley
LI 4 pressure point

The Hegu point is located on the hand, between the thumb and index finger, on the top surface.

Renowned for its versatility in providing rapid pain relief, it is primarily used for headaches and sinus pain but is also effective in alleviating lower back pain, including symptoms associated with sciatica.

Stimulation of this point triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, offering relief from various types of pain, including sciatica. Additionally, it promotes relaxation, which can help reduce muscle tension and the stiffness that often accompanies sciatica.

It's important to acknowledge that while LI 4 can be effective for pain in the hands or upper body, its direct impact on sciatic pain in the lower body, such as leg pain, may vary.

2. T 22.05 - Ling Gu

T 22.05 pressure point

Ling Gu pressure point comes from the renowned Tung family style of acupuncture and is a highly effective acupuncture point for relieving sciatic pain.

To find Ling Gu, locate the bony point at the top of the second metacarpal. Use the hand opposite to the side experiencing pain.

It is known to relieve various body discomforts such as:

  • Back Pain
  • Acute Back Sprain
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Neck Pain
  • Numbness of Limbs
  • Weakness of the Lower Legs

How to Massage Sciatica Trigger Points

Woman trying to massage lower back

Here's a general approach to massage these points:

  1. Locate and Apply Pressure - Identify the specific pressure points associated with sciatica pain, such as those in the lower back, buttocks, and legs. Apply pressure using your fingers. Hold the pressure for one to three minutes.
  2. Be Firm but Gentle - While applying pressure, maintain a firm yet gentle touch. Avoid excessive force as it could potentially exacerbate the pain.
  3. Use a Small Ball - For deeper and larger pressure points, like those in the hips, utilize a small ball like a tennis ball to roll onto the area. This method of pain relief can effectively massage the pressure points and alleviate discomfort.
  4. Beneficial Areas - Pressure points for sciatica pain relief can be found across various parts of the body, including the feet, back, hips, and legs. Each point might have additional benefits beyond treating back pain.
  5. No Special Equipment Needed - Massaging these pressure points doesn't require specialized tools, making it an accessible and safe way to manage sciatica pain from the comfort of your home.

What to Remember About Sciatica Trigger Points

Dealing with sciatica pain is an incredibly painful condition that often drives individuals to seek immediate relief. While numerous treatments exist, employing acupressure points can be an effective method of pain alleviation for some.

It's important to understand the locations of these points for effective stimulation. Simple methods like applying pressure with fingers or using a tennis ball for larger points can provide relief but should be used in moderation.

Beyond alleviating sciatic pain, these pressure points can also promote muscle relaxation and overall well-being.

One of the main advantages of pressure point massage is its accessibility. It doesn't require specialized equipment, making it a convenient home remedy for relief from sciatica pain.

However, if pain persists or worsens, you should seek guidance from a licensed massage therapist or healthcare professional experienced in pain relief therapies. This ensures a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to individual needs.

Gaining an understanding of these trigger points can empower individuals to potentially find relief and better manage the challenges of sciatica.