If the sciatic pain is related to a hip that is rotated forward, the sciatic pain may actually be connected with an overtight illiacus muscle (located within the inside curve of the hip bone). When the hip rotates forward it will actually overstretch the piraformis and this can cause the sciatic pain. In this case the release of the illiacus is key in getting the hip to move out of its forward position and allow the piraformis to relax instead of compensate for the forward rotation.
But if the sciatic pain is related to a hip that is rotated toward the back, then it is most likely related to the piriformis but other muscles as well. The psoas, a very deep hip flexor muscle that begins on the front part of the low back vertebrae and goes down through the pelvis to attach with the illiacus on the femor, is often involved as well. Though we learned to release this muscle in my massage training, it was taught to treat herniated or bulging discs lumbar vertebrae or just general low back pain. The relation to the piraformis and sciatica was news to me!
When a hip rotates backwards, sometimes it will flair out to the side. The foot follows and turns out when standing, and all the muscles on the back of the hip become constricted to help maintain balance. When sciatic pain exists with this type of pattern, we need to pay particular attention to the musculature of the posterior hip and make sure all contributing muscles are addressed to provide optimal rehabilitation without the immediate tendency for the body to go back into old patterns.
At Surgical Alternative, we believe in lasting change. Each session is designed to release most, if not all, contributing restrictions in soft tissue that are holding the client’s body in an uncomfortable posture. The body has a strong memory so each session is like taking off a new layer of the old patterns and reinforcing new structural habits revealing more possibilities in the enjoyment of a life without pain.
We have been dealing with clients in severe pain from herniated discs, bulging discs, hiatal hernias, degenerative disk disease, peripheral nerve damage, nerve entrapments, sciatic pain issues and many more symptoms that people think they either have to have surgery for or just deal with the pain. The reason we started blogging was so that we could reach and help those people that suffer from these and many other painful conditions. At Surgical Alternative we can help! For availability and scheduling please visit http://surgicalalternative.com/schedule-appointment/
About the Author: This post contributed by a member of the Surgical Alternative team, Nyssa Hanger, to find out more about click here.
When I was in massage school, we were taught that sciatica (shooting nerve pain that travels down the back of the leg) was most often caused by a tight hip rotator muscle called the piraformis ( a muscle in the gluteal region of the lower limb). The piraformis connects our tailbone (or sacrum) to the top of our femur (or leg bone) and when contracted or when the muscle constricts, pulls the leg and knee to the side away from the body, opening the hip. Since this muscle crosses over the sciatic nerve, if it is overly contracted then it can pinch the nerve and cause pain. If someone came in complaining of sciatica pain, we would release their piraformis during the session using several techniques including structural bodywork and cranial rebalancing.
In these sessions, the piraformis release “hurts good” at the time of the session but the clients often don’t receive lasting benefits from this release. A tight piraformis does not live on its own; it often a symptom of an imbalanced structure. Though we can get the piraformis to release and let go, this is not done within a session where all the muscles of the hips contributing to a pattern are also released so the body can find a new way to balance more efficiently. If the muscles don’t release then the body will often return back to the starting pattern and sciatica pain returns. Addressing pain as a symptom of structural issues is our objective at Surgical Alternative. We utilize SET Bodywork and CranioStructural techniques to release the muscles and rebalance the body.
This became very clear to once, we started to study structural approaches to pain rehabilitation. The piraformis, we discovered, is certainly not the only culprit to sciatica pain. Determining how to most effectively address this issue depends on adequate evaluation of the body’s structure. This is way we first visually assess the structure by observing the client standing so their weight-bearing structure emerges. Almost every client we have seen reporting a painful condition presents an imbalance in the pelvis with one side rotating forward and one rotating backward.
Although massage has been around for hundreds of years we are still discovering the power the body and mind having in the healing process. We have seen and lived this process with many of our clients, that is why we feel very fortunate and excited to do what we love to do, help others that are suffering from herniated discs, bulging discs, peripheral nerve damage, degenerative disk disease, nerve entrapments, sciatic nerve issues and many more symptoms that people think they either have to have surgery for or are told they just have to deal with the pain. At www.surgicalalternative.com we can help! Check back for Part II
As a therapist in for over 15 years I have seen my share of interesting cases. A more interesting case, was when a father came in for therapy, seeming more tired than usual. He told me how since birth, his child woke up on a nightly basis frantically screaming, until a parent came to comfort him back to sleep. Both he and his wife would take shifts of who would sleep and who would do the comforting. He also told me how this had severely limited their lives because the child was usually acting out what he had done earlier that day. Too much day time excitement and stimulation made the nights much worse. The father gave the example of taking their child to the beach or attending family/friend functions as not being an option for them. A very interesting detail about this was that the child was never aware that they were doing this. They only had the awareness of being tired every morning. I explained to the father how I thought the child could benefit from a cranial decompression and other cranial work that would release pressure on the cranium but also help bring it into balance. I asked the father to bring in the son to experience a cranial work session. Both parents agreed to bring the child in for therapy. The child enjoyed the therapy, was quite inquisitive, and fell asleep during the session. When the family came for the second appointment the parents told me that 2 days before their 2nd appointment the child slept through the night, for the first time! The parents had grown accustomed to taking shifts for the past 7 years anticipating his waking, but he never did. By the 3rd appointment the parents were happy to report that the son had not woken up again since 2 days before his 2nd appointment. This nightly disturbance that had taken over their lives, was no longer limiting and governing their lives! No longer waking up tired has allowed this child to become more emotionally balanced, more focused at school, and more themselves! The parents were surprised at all the changes and were grateful for how this has changed all their lives! There are many types of alternative therapy that can help change what people think they have to live with. Check into it and you may be surprised. I’d love to hear any stories you may have.