Treatment for Sciatica
Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve and its branches. It occurs when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. This nerve runs from the spinal cord through the buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg. The painful condition of sciatica may be felt through the entire region from the hip buttock area all the way down the leg even into the sole of the foot. The pain often occurs on just one side of the body.
Common causes of sciatica include:
- Piriformis syndrome (a pain disorder involving the narrow Piriformis muscle in the buttocks)
- Slipped disk
- Degenerative disk disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Pelvic injury or fracture
- Late stage pregnancy
Symptoms may vary depending upon the degree of damage or compression of the sciatic nerve. Some clients/patients experience mild pain while others endure a chronic high level of pain affecting their ability to stand or walk normally. Prolonged sitting or standing can aggravate the condition. Sneezing, laughing, coughing, or difficult bowel movements will make the pain worse in most clients/patients.
Treatment for Sciatica
A study presented in 1998 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science, compared practitioner and patient responses in a survey evaluating the efficacy of the Bowen Therapy in the treatment of pain. Practitioners rated the Bowen Technique effective in 85% of cases for back pain with an average of 4.3 treatment sessions. Patients rated the effectiveness at 85% for back pain and 80% for hip pain. It works to relax tense muscles, tendons and ligaments, thereby reducing pressure exerted on the sciatic nerve. Further research conducted by the American College of Physicians and published in their Annals in 2011 looked at the efficacy of structural massage and neuromuscular technique, along with relaxation massage versus usual medical practices in the treatment of lower back pain. Of 401 subjects studied, with a history of pain lasting a minimum of three months, participants who were treated with maneuvers to release tension in specific tissues and joint structures aimed at restoring healthy muscular and nervous system function, had less pain and were better able to perform daily activities after 10 weeks than those who received usual medical care.
Learning Bowen Therapy
Training in Bowen Therapy technique is taught by Peter Fuller, CBT, CMNT, CMT, in the course of a three-day seminar. Students gain hands-on training in reading the body and learning how Bowen’s philosophy is individualized to each client. Student practitioners will receive a manual written by Bowen Therapy Training, Inc. Upon completion of the course, students are awarded a 22-hour merit diploma. This is a prerequisite for certification and Advanced Bowen Therapy Training Seminars.
MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner
Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
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Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
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New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988