Vancouver Massage Therapy for Effective Assessment and Treatment of Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome
It is difficult to diagnose based on symptoms of sciatica. The sciatic nerve is quite substantial as it passes into the lower extremities and can be impeded by a number of structures if there happens to be an imbalance.
Vancouver (I-Newswire) October 9, 2013 - As the term "sciatica" becomes more common place in clinical dialogue, it is becoming the assumption that symptoms of low back pain must be sciatica. A massage therapist is frequently faced with clients who state they have sciatica, or rather what they think is sciatica.
Vancouver RMT Nicola Grice thinks that the common place term of "sciatica" is probably leading to confusion between syndromes with similar symptoms. "If you were to tell someone you have sciatica, chances are they know you are suffering from an intense shooting leg and buttock pain. Yet tell someone you have piriformis syndrome and they likely won't know what you're talking about." she explained. http://www.broadwaymassageandtherapy.com/our-therapists/nicola-grice-rmt
Now, to the science of Sciatica...
The term "Sciatica" is actually incredibly over used. Some people at the first sign of buttock pain automatically claim it as sciatica. This term is perhaps more of a description or symptom, than a clinical diagnosis but is now quite commonly used as the latter. True sciatica is an irritation of the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that runs from the back through the buttock muscles, continues down into the back of the leg and splits when it gets to the back of your knee cap (patella.) The nerve can be irritated by joints in the low back, a disc herniation, or a muscle entrapment (commonly by the piriformis muscle or any other in the affected area). It is important to track down the source in order to treat the body in the most effective way.
When the sciatic nerve becomes entrapped in the piriformis muscle in particular, the resulting pain is called Piriformis Syndrome, also known as "Pseudo Sciatica." Piriformis Syndrome, in addition to causing buttock pain that may radiate down the leg, may also present with pain that is relieved by walking with the foot on the affected side pointing outward. This position externally rotates the hip, lessening the stretch on the piriformis and relieving the pain slightly. Piriformis syndrome is also known as "wallet sciatica" or "fat wallet syndrome," as the condition can be caused or aggravated by sitting with a large wallet in the affected side's rear pocket.
There are several ways a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) can assess where the sciatic pain is coming from. Often that means ruling out conditions such as disc herniations or lumbar muscle strain and preforming tests that stress and stretch the piriformis muscle.
It is important to distinguish between sciatica and piriformis syndrome. The treatment for these conditions varies and getting the diagnosis right leads to more effective treatment. By releasing the muscle tissue in the area, you may find relief in just a few treatments.
Vancouver RMT Nicola Grice practices at Broadway Wellness, a clinic in the heart of Fairview, Vancouver, BC, dedicated to the health of the community through massage therapy, naturopathic medicine and chiropractic care.
Published in:Health & Fitness
Published On:October 9, 2013
Print Release:Print Release
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