Sciatica relief checklist Part 1: Corrective actions and treatments

Back pain, Buttock pain, Chronic pain, Healing, Low back pain, Neuromuscular therapy, Pain relief, Sciatic pain, Stretches, Stretching (Active Isolated method), Structural asymmetry, Understanding pain / Monday, June 21st, 2010

When sciatica type symptoms get the better of you and nothing you do seems to make it better, here is a guide, a checklist for suggested corrective actions and treatments. (Synthesized from my 19 years as a Neuromuscular Therapist in the Boston area and from the medical text by  Drs.Travell and Simons, Myofacial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, Vols I and II.)

1) Correct structural asymmetries
with a heel lift, butt lift, foot orthotics, and changes in misfitting furniture. This is more important than you would think.
2) Treat Trigger Points in affected muscles with neuromuscular techniques.
3) Use osteopathic or chiropractic correction of skeletal and joint misalignment up to 6 consecutive treatments. A chiropractor I respect told me if it takes more than that to correct a problem, you should probably be doing something else for treatment.
4) Restore balance to muscles and joints with massage therapy and deep tissue treatments, appropriate daily stretching and a careful corrective exercise. Swimming is one of the best general exercises for back and hip problems. It takes away the effects of gravity.  Do everything you can do without pain to stimulate your body’s wellness response.

5) Stretching is a big key. Use the Active Isolated Method: Actively stretch, assist at the end range for 2 seconds max and repeat 10x. Find out which muscles are tight and use specific stretches for them. (See my post on AIS protocol.)