Let's address, that pain in the glutes. Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome?
In this post we cover everything from where and what you might be dealing with, to ways and methods i've used to heal myself and continue to on a regular basis. We will talk about physical symptoms, emotional correlations and interesting ways to trigger our bodies own natural healing responses through sound and movement, inner strength and a deep desire for greater health and wellbeing.
So if you have pain that radiates from your low back, through your hips, bum, and down the back of your legs, you possible are dealing with sciatica.
Consider as well the possibility you could have something called Piriformis Syndrome, although these two conditions are commonly used interchangeably, they aren't exactly the same. It's also important to go to a doctor or professional to rule out that it is not a disc related injury or condition, therefore, sciatica. Sciatica is usually caused by a physical issue, such as a herniated disc, prolapsed disc, or disc bulges. Also degenerative conditions like arthritis and degenerative discs in the spine.
Sciatica can be caused by piriformis syndrome, but not the other way around.
So unlike sciatica piriformis syndrome actually has nothing to do with the back, but is more related to the hips. The piriformis is a deep buttocks muscle that helps in hip rotation and hip stabilization. The pain occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle itself.
So piriformis syndrome is mainly a muscle tissue issue and can be solved and healed quicker then sciatica. Its mostly going to be corrected through consistent stretches, massage therapy and a little unconventional mind work.
It's incredibly important to say, light, gentle stretching is essential in any form of healing. There is never any use of the term " no pain no gain " when it comes to healing. Exercising and stretching the piriformis is well worth it, but not to the degree of aggravating the already possibly inflamed tissue.
Never hold the poses if there is pain in any way, or tingling or numbness. This means there is nerves being adversely affected and that is NEVER a good thing.
A tight IT band can also mimic radiating pain down the leg similar to sciatica. The iliotibial band is the fascia tissue on the side of the thigh, that is sometimes sensitive to foam roll or stretch out.
Here's a break through of the difference, Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome, then we will go over some ways to help relieve the pain and discomfort you're dealing with.
Leg pain is greater then back pain
The pain may radiate into your toes
Leg may feel heavy
When you lay down, and raise the affected leg, it hurts
Pain in the buttocks and hamstring
No pain radiating down below the knee
Pain increases when sitting for long periods of time
There are a great selection of videos on YouTube to check out, I love my blog because I can share my favorite picks for specific topics here and narrow down your search!
Deep massage therapy (manual release) by a qualified professional is thought to enhance healing by increasing blood flow to the area and decreasing muscle spasm.
Massage therapy can help with overall wellbeing, the release of feel good chemicals in the body, the stimulation of the body fluids and lymph system. Massage and stress management can greatly repair a lot of deep rooted conditions in the body. I fully believe we can connect our physical ailments with our emotional issues. That being said, once a condition has gotten to a point of needing medical attention I obviously fully support that choice and recommend you always practice any exercise or treatment with a health professional and with doctors assurance.
We can heal ourselves, we are self regulating, healing, regenerative beings.
The lifestyle you choose now affects the lifestyle you will be creating for your future self. Incorporating an understanding of the body mind connection and making self care rituals an integrated part of you life and routine is a great investment for you and your family.
You can begin to adopt an attitude of knowing you are lovable, worthy and enough, and there are reasons you are at the point you are at needing to relieve pain you are struggling
We've looked a lot at the muscle location, we touched lightly on the reasons why and how you might be able to tell what exact condition you might be dealing with.
To tie it all in, lets mention the emotional layers that hold on in the hips and the low back, and glutes, which are part of the core muscle group
The emotions related to hip pain you would want to explore are to do with security , survival, communication, and relationship.
"Some questions you can ask such as - Do you feel unsupported? Are you afraid without your material gains you have no purpose? Are finances overwhelming you, do you wonder how you'll manage?
Hips are also an area concerned with relationships - Are you fearful of letting someone get too close? Is a past hurt pulling vital energy from this area? Are you wanting a different direction in your relationship?
Just like the shoulders the pelvis is connected to feeling like you are carrying the weight of the world. This is related to the female womb, of literally having the ability to carry weight.
The emotions related to buttocks and pain in that area are to do with release, and your ability to relax. There are often control and power issues held here as well.
The glutes are your need for support and comfort.
Possibly sitting on feeling insecure, and holding or repressing a feeling, or feelings." -Deb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind.
What are some ways to let this go?
Well first, acknowledge, maybe do some self reflection and inner awareness exercises. A suggestion I usually offer is meditation.
Meditation comes in all forms, walking, running, watching your breath, focusing on a candle, a word, a mantra, a sound. You can meditate anywhere, there is nothing you need to meditate, just an desire for a bit of detachment.
Your body is trying to make you realize you need to acknowledge, and attend to yourself.
When I had a hard time meditating in silence, I started using brain wave entrainment therapy, and it was a key to unlocking my meditation journey! I have always been a huge music person, and these pieces of meditative experiences changed my life, helped me sleep, and helped me focus.
Here's some of my favorite you can check out on Spotify, if you don't have Spotify I have alot of brainwave entrainment videos on the main homepage of the Blog to listen to, as well i'll add a link to my very favorite, Power Thoughts Meditation, it's Sofleggio Frequencies, different but the same.
This got off topic fast...
I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes it seems as though a muscle strain, sprain or injury is from over use, or that something outside of ourselves did something to us. You can believe what you want to, but whatever you choose there is never any negative affect to including the regular practice of meditation, and yoga, mindfulness and massge into your daily life. DAILY. Everyday.
I understand if massage is a monthly, but there is always 5 minutes to Stop. Breathe. Feel.
Check in with yourself before turning on Netflix.
After your meditation, while you watch tv, sit and stretch your glutes!
Here's a great video from The Daily Bandha, love these books and videos.
There is a difference in Yin and Restorative Yoga, in this case ,this amazing restorative class is geared towards releasing hips and glutes, and allowing a good amount of breathwork to access the tightly held fascia in those targeted areas causing you discomfort.
My suggestions for this condition
Fig 4 - Pigeon (20-30 second hold, repeat, work into longer holds with deep breathing and lengthen your exhale)
Mediation, Rest and Sound Healing with headphones (I posted my playlist, and the power thoughts, there is a guided meditation on body and health)
Restorative and Yin as a lifestyle habit