Piriformis Syndrome and how Active Release Techniques (ART) works!
Sciatica, often presents in the same way with neurological symptoms (numbness and tingling down one’s leg), weakness, and loss of function, but sciatica can occur in a few places. For this article, sciatica will be discussed from the buttock area, not the hamstring or lower back (if it is lower back, it’s likely a herniated spinal disc and if it is hamstring, usually one complains of a tight or “pulled” hamstring).
When sciatica occurs from the buttock, it is likely from compression of the piriformis muscle, a muscle in the deep buttock, that the sciatic nerve travels behind as it goes down the back of one’s thigh (from the buttock). When the sciatic nerve is repeatedly irritated here and compressed by the piriformis muscle, it is referred to as piriformis syndrome.
When one complains of the symptoms listed above alongside a deep buttock pain, one has to rule out piriformis syndrome. Often, the injury occurs from overuse through a particular activity to the buttock area or repetitive movement (squat, lunges, sitting for long periods, as examples). The sciatic nerve gets compressed causing the person to reduce their activity due to the pain.
One should seek out a chiropractor specializing in Active Release Techniques (ART) for 2 reasons: one being that ART providers can properly diagnose the injury as they are able to differentiate sciatica from the lower back and hamstring versus the buttock; the second reason is that ART providers can treat the injury correctly and efficiently minimizing your time missed away from the activities you enjoy.
Because most ART providers are chiropractors, chiropractors can utilize manipulation too to correct any restrictions in your pelvis and/or lower back (the origin of the sciatic nerve), and incorporate rehabilitative exercises to activate one’s gluteal muscles and core muscles. This reduces the strain of the piriformis muscle on the sciatic nerve.
ART providers will reduce the scar tissue around the nerve to allow it to move more freely and to reduce symptoms down one’s leg. It may take a few treatments to improve the injury depending on how long one suffered from this. As the injury improves, one can feel his/her leg more due to less compression on the nerve. ART will increase function, flexibility, and movement of the affected area (including hip, and pelvis) over subsequent treatments.
If you begin to feel pain down your leg, have it looked at immediately by an ART chiropractor to get the relief you seek quickly!
Brian Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, CKTP
Lincoln Park Chiropractic 2202 N. Lincoln Ave Suite 1 Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-2790 https://lincolnparkchiropractic.com