The dreaded “Sciatica”
This can be extremely painful at times –
It’s always aggravating and frustrating.
And…It’s probably not, “Piriformis Syndrome.”
The information you hear from your friends, doctors, therapists and trainers seems conflicting. You’ll try exercises for a few days and stretches but nothing seems to work long term. Everything you try probably makes it feel better for a few minutes, but it always comes back.
You would be surprised to know how often we are asked, “What can you do for Sciatica?” We can actually do a lot, but I first have to ask YOU a question…
“What type of sciatica do you have?”
and I want to be real for just 1 second. Nobody ever asks, “What can you do for…” rather they ask, “What stretches can I do for?”
Here’s the problem – That subtle little change in the question typically leads you down a long dark path of misery and frustration.
There are probably 20 different versions of sciatica. If your sciatic nerve is being irritated, due to muscles too tight, too elongated, a direct impact, SI joints, hip joints, low back issues or leg imbalance, regardless of what is causing it, it’s still called sciatica (irritation of the sciatic nerve).
So the biggest part of being able to help you, is to properly diagnose what is the cause of the sciatic irritation. It’s usually not one single issue but multiple compounding problems. Think of it as a few smaller problems that add up to a literal pain in the butt!
The sciatic nerve is almost always involved and often diagnosed as some version of “bursitis, disc issues, hip tendonitis, piriformis syndrome” and any version of sciatic inflammation. It’s a part of a whole.
That being said – that’s why there is no ONE MAGIC treatment that will work for this condition every time. The trick is to getting a thorough and proper diagnosis on this condition to allow for the correct treatment.
Check out the article on Glutes: Treatment and Explanation of one common, but misunderstood, version of sciatia, that I feel is the most common.
OK, but you came here looking for advice. Here’s what I’d tell you without being able to test you out – The muscles matter – you DO need to work on the glutes, its the only way you’re going to get pressure off the nerve.
However, the idea that you can just stretch this thing away is insanity. Its NOT only the piriformis and your little fig. 4 stretch most likely isn’t cutting it. In fact, my experience says the muscle is OVERSTRETCHED most of the time.
That means stop stretching….That’s right, STOP stretching! 4 Reasons Why You Have Tight Muscles and What To Do About It
It all comes back to this – 10x/day in my clinic. I utilize glute CONTRACTIONS in over 90% of my cases with outstanding results. In any case, I haven’t examined you, I have no idea – but if you’ve tried your preferred technique 4 times and its not working, it probably won’t – try something different and get some help.
I use this picture in my office a dozen times idea as the idea of, “Try something else. What you are doing isn’t working!”