Sciatica is a type of nerve pain that is closely associated with low back pain. One of the key muscles that causes sciatic nerve pain is the piriformis muscle. The piriformis is a deeper muscle of the gluteal region. Stretching the piriformis muscle can be accomplished through Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) therapy. AIS treatment employs a unique approach to stretching the piriformis muscle which resolves sciatic nerve pain. AIS rehabilitation is new sciatica treatment in Honolulu. There is only one expert in Active Isolated Stretching in the entire state of Hawaii.
When a person seeks sciatica treatment in Honolulu, that person typically has tightness in the gluteal muscles – the muscles of the buttocks. The buttocks is divided into glute major, glute medius, and glute minimus. Underneath the three gluteal muscles is the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is a small band-like muscle that lies over the sciatic nerve. When the piriformis muscle becomes tight, it squeezes the sciatic nerve. This causes nerve pain signals in the lower body. The affects of sciatic nerve pain are different for different people. Numbness, shooting pain, itching, tingling, and loss of range of motion. These problems can appear in the glutes, the leg, the ankle, or even the foot. Any of these manifestations are known as sciatica.
Unwinding the piriformis muscle is essential to correcting sciatica. Muscles work in groups. Because the piriformis muscle lies underneath glute major, glute medius, and glute minor. These top muscles must be lengthened before addressing the piriformis. When one or all of the three glute muscles are contractive, they form a cast of tension over the pirifomis muscle.
AIS treatment solves sciatica by working methodically, going from larger dominant muscles than gradually going underneath the larger muscles to the smaller muscles at the deeper layer. No other form of stretching has employed an approach like AIS treatment. There are numerous reasons why AIS produces superior results through its unique form of assisted stretching:
- Assisted stretching with a trained therapist helps the client lengthen gluteal & piriformis muscles deeper than possible by doing self stretching.
- Four muscles affect the piriformis: glute major, glute medius, glute minor, and piriformis. In AIS, each of these four muscles has one specific stretch position that only targets that individual muscle. No other form of stretching has such a specifically targeted approach for reaching the piriformis muscle.
- To lengthen the glutes and piriformis, the muscle must be relaxed. This means that proper position should always be used where the muscle is in a relaxed state. Many other forms of stretching are not aware of this principle.
- The stretch should only last two seconds, and be done in repetitions rather than one long stretch. Holding for more than two seconds activates the stretch reflex in the body. The stretch reflex contracts when a muscle is being stretched. Thus, when a stretch is held for 15 or 30 seconds, the stretch reflex prevents the target muscle from being stretched. This is a major reason why conventional stretching is largely ineffective.
The piriformis muscle is not the only muscle causing sciatica, but it is a critical piece of the sciatic nerve pain puzzle. It is almost always involved in sciatic nerve pain. A conventional treatment for sciatica is the epidural injection performed by a physician. This method has very mixed results. Sometimes it works for a sort period and then the problem returns at a later date. When the injection is applied, it spreads an anti-inflammatory agent into the low back region. In the best case scenario, the cortisone injection will reduce inflammation around the muscles that are squeezing the sciatic nerve. Its possible that the epidural injection could reduce inflammation in the piriformis and the glute minimus. But it does not reach glute major or glute medius. This is one reason that sciatic nerve pain often returns after receiving an epidural injection. Constant pressure created by glute major and glute medius would cause the piriformis to retighten after some time passes.
Here is one scenario for unsuccessful sciatica treatment in Honolulu: A patient goes to a physician and receives an epidural injection in the low back. Usually the first one has the best effects. Pain may be removed for several weeks or months, but the sciatic pain returns and the individual returns to the doctor to get a second injection. The second injection relieves the sciatic nerve pain but the duration of positive results is shorter than the first injection. Several months pass, the individual continues to experience sciatic pain and returns for a third cortisone injection. This time something doesn’t feel right. The individual thinks, “It felt like the doctor missed the spot?”
When the patient informs the physician of his experience, the doctor then states that it is now time to consider back surgery.
Sciatic pain is a worldwide epidemic. The glute muscles and the piriformis muscle are primary culprits in causing this problem. This can be commonly experienced by people who sit for several hours a day. Or even by highly athletic people who do exercises that fatigue the butt muscles. Either way, the butt muscles become shortened and cause the piriformis to press on the sciatic nerve. Active Isolated Stretching is a high value alternative treatment to epidural injections and back surgery. Fortunately residents and visitors of Hawaii now have an advanced practitioner of Active Isolated Stretching offering sciatica treatment in Honolulu.