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Do you know the difference between sciatica, and common sciatic pain?

Old mature woman sit on bed touch back feel morning backpain suffer from lower lumbar disc

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is pain that radiates through the sciatic nerve, which can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, leg, and foot.

What is the cause of sciatica? 

Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve in the spine due to a herniated disk or narrowing of the spine. 

How does a Myofascial Release therapist treat sciatica? 

Lumborsacral decompression: therapist gently distracts the client's lower back (L4 vertebra) away from their sacrum (S3 vertebra) for an extended period of time in order to put more space between the vertebrae.


If the client has pain or numbness in their hip, glute, leg, knee, or foot, the therapist uses a varation of MFR techniques to relax the affected areas.  

What is common sciatic pain? 

Sciatic pain (piriformis syndrome) mimics some sciatica symptoms; however, 


  • pain doesn't originate in the low back


  • pain originates in the sacroiliac joint and buttocks 


  • sometimes there is numbness in the leg and foot

Why is piriformis syndrome common?

The way the body is designed leaves the sciatic nerve vulnerable to crushing pressure from the hip stabilizer (piriformis muscle) located in the buttocks.

There are anatomical variations of the sciatic nerve, and in some people it passes directly through the piriformis muscle belly, which leaves the nerve even more vulnerable to entrapment.

What are the causes of piriformis syndrome?

close up of woman triathlete in blue tri suit riding a bike holding sore butt with hand in
  • piriformis muscle spasm

  • injury 


  • weight gain


  • pregnancy

  • sitting too much

  • repetitive exercise

  • postural imbalance

Frequent sitting, hiking, running, cycling, weight training, etc., contracts the connective-tissue (fascia) that surrounds the piriformis, which then chokes the sciatic nerve.

How does a Myofascial Release therapist treat piriformis syndrome?

Piriformis release: therapist gently paces their elbow on the clients glute and follows the connective-tissue (fascia) until a release is felt.  

How does MFR help sciatica and piriformis syndrome?

If the case of sciatica isn't extremely degenerative, Myofascial Release can be an alternative to spinal surgery, and treatments can help manage the symptoms.


Piriformis syndrome can be cured by softening the fascia around the buttocks, which allows the piriformis muscle to come out of contraction, creating space for the sciatic nerve to glide freely.

Do I have sciatica, or piriformis syndrome?

The Myofascial Release therapist checks the client's reflexes, and observes their posture prior to treatment to see if the symptoms seem like sciatica, or piriformis syndrome.

Sciatica is officially determined by a doctor through an x-ray or MRI.

Intermittent nerve pain can become more frequent over time 

Whether someone suffers from sciatica or piriformis syndrome, a little discomfort eventually becomes more intense because nerves boost the pain signals if no changes are made.

Myofascial Release treatments help re-pattern your body, and help you break the repetitive pain cycle. 

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