Friday, June 25, 2010

Resolving Sciatica with Active Release Part - 3

Sciatic Nerve - Peripheral Compression Syndromes

Of all the causes of sciatica, in my opinion peripheral nerve entrapment is the most common. One of best known examples of sciatic nerve compression is piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is one of the external rotators of the hip and leg. This muscle helps to turn the foot and leg outward. If the pirformis muscle is overworked it can become tight and restricted, compressing the sciatic nerve.

This type of compressive syndrome can actually happen anywhere along the entire length of the sciatic nerve. Active Release procedures can be effective at releasing these restrictions. I have used these procedures in my clinic for many years with very good results in the majority of cases. Of course to achieve good results the ART practitioner will have to have taken the correct ART courses and have a degree of experience in treating this condition.

Unfortunately I have had some patients come to me saying that they have tried ART for their Sciatica with no or minimal results. When I investigate these cases I usually find that the practitioner is either not a certified ART provider, or they have not taken the needed courses required to treat this condition. So please check out your provider at I would recommend that you find someone certified in Spine, Lower Extremity and preferably Long Nerve Entrapment.

Sciatic Nerve Entrapments

There are certain areas where restrictions are commonly found along the path of the sciatic nerve. The research on these common areas of entrapment can be found in a wide variety of multidisciplinary sources.
Examples of Common Sciatic Nerve Entrapment Locations:

Sciatic nerve at piriformis the muscle
  • Windisch G, Braun EM, Anderhuber F. Piriformis muscle: clinical anatomy and consideration of the piriformis syndrome. Surg Radiol Anat. Feb 2007;29(1):37-45.

Sciatic nerve at biceps femoris muscle. (AKA. Proximal Hamstring Syndrome)
  • Puranen J, Orava S. The hamstring syndrome. A new diagnosis of gluteal sciatic pain. Amer J Sports Med 1988;16(5):517-21.
  • Young IJ, van Riet RP, Bell SN. Surgical release for proximal hamstring syndrome. Amer J Sports Med 2008;36(12):2372-8.
In part four of "Resolving Sciatica with Active Release" we will cover exercises.

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1 comment:

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