SCIATICA & PELVIC IMBALANCES:
I often have clients come to me for help with Sciatica. I think this is because I have also dealt with it myself personally so I know the issue intimately. I have personally often found that most Bodywork or more specifically massage makes Sciatica worse and this is because you are dealing with an impinged and inflamed nerve and a structural issue that is causing the impingement. Without this knowledge it is all too easy to massage right over the inflamed nerve and cause more inflammation sending the surrounding tissue into spasm thereby compounding the issue.
When I work with Sciatica I start with Craniosacral Therapy (which is a subtle, unwinding process that is also very specific to aligning the structure, spine, cranium and how they interrelate) to balance the Pelvic bones and unwind the Lumbar vertebrae where the nerve exits the spine. Then it's important to address where the pelvic imbalance is coming from. Often times there is an old tailbone, pubic bone or pelvic injury. When the tailbone is curled under or jammed it will then throw off the entire pelvis and Sacroilac Joint (SI)- where the Sciatic nerve exits and this can often rotate the lumbar vertebra. This then causes the Iliopsoas (Hip Flexor) to go into considerable contraction and sometimes spasm.
The other key to working with Sciatica is to address the instability in the pelvis. Because of the origin of the imbalance the body has now learned a compensation pattern where the stabilizer muscles have stopped doing their job and the surrounding muscles are
overworking. The body holds itself together either through stability or tension and all too often it is the latter. For this element of the equation it is essential to be doing physical exercises that turn on the stabilizer muscles and help to retrain the alignment of the pelvis. Doing simple things like a suspended 90* chair at the wall squeezing a yoga block between the knees helps stabilize and balance the pelvis. I also teach my clients a more nuanced, specific pelvic balancing exercise series.
(to learn these exercises Click Here)
Walking up stairs slowly, in parallel consistent alignment helps to activate, strengthen and balance both the psoas and gluts. Swimming is also very balancing for the pelvis. Sitting and lying around are the worst things you can do for Sciatica as they create more instability in the pelvis and the Sciatic nerve is screaming for stabilization! The frustrating thing with Sciatica is that after the body has been rebalanced it still takes a day or so for the inflammation to go down and it can be SO Painful! And this is where the importance of doing stabilizing exercises and lots of icing comes in.
I've also found that sometimes the Sciatica is originating from the Gut either from a food reaction or some intestinal imbalance such as parasites etc...This will cause the Psoas to seize up which will rotate the whole pelvis and set in motion the pattern that leads to impingement and inflammation of the nerves and surrounding tissues. I've also seen where extreme menstrual cycles will rotate the uterus which throws off the whole pelvis as well. This sometimes can show up in conjunction with migraine headaches (extreme menstrual cycles and migraines are an indication that the Endocrine system is out of balance). Anything that causes inflammation in the body can trigger it. I've experienced mold neurotoxicity triggering it, Epstein-Barr Virus, heavy metal toxicity...
Psychologically the Pelvis represents our feeling of being able to support ourselves both emotionally, financially etc... and do we feel "stable" in life. Addressing any underlying misbeliefs around not feeling supported (often by the masculine/ father) can be really helpful to clear what set the stage for this imbalance to show up. Also sexual trauma often shows up in the tissues of the pelvis and can cause the tailbone to tuck under connecting to feelings of shame, victimization, unworthiness...
MESSAGES FROM THE BODY
by Michael J. Lincoln Ph.D
says Sciatica can be deep inner pain the person doesn't' want to know which can come from "a denial dominated self-defeating programming dysfunctional family."
It can have to do with "Creativity-anxiety: concern, anxiety and dread regarding the release and expression of their creative capabilities."
Issues of being Hypocritical, super self-sufficient but under the "ferocious independence is an 'innocent infant' longing for care and commitment", concern about money, the future, security and safety issues...
It is deeply important to me to create a safe, sacred space where all these levels can be addressed and honored.