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Sciatica Pain Caused by Piriformis syndrome and Treatment (Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas Pilates)

Piriformis syndrome, Sciatic Pain and treatment

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The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located deep in the buttock under the gluteus maximus. The muscle runs very close to sciatic nerve and some people the nerve even can run through the muscle. Piriformis muscle function is assisting to rotate the hip, turn the leg and foot outward (hip external rotation).

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Piriformis syndrome may caused by muscle spasm or excess tightness in the piriformis muscle, either because of irritation in the piriformis muscle itself, or irritation of a nearby structure such as sacroiliac joint ( SI joint) or hip. Most commonly, clients describe acute tenderness in the buttock and sciatica-like pain down the back of the thigh, calf and foot. Pain Increases after prolonged sitting, walking or running and it also may limit range of motion of the hip joint, especially hip internal rotation. Piriformius syndrome is very common in long-distant runners and those who’s sport requires repetitive external rotation of hip (ice hockey).

Many of my client who got a Piriformis syndrome, have also problem with their SI (sacroiliac) joint and visa versa. By saying that, SI-joint dysfunction may be sometimes root of pain, not piriformis muscles itself. Piriformis syndrome, SI-joint dysfunction and hip pain have very similar symptoms and they are hard to diagnose. Sciatica pain may also be caused by piriformis syndrome as well as SI joint dysfunction.

Almost every treatment approach for piriformis syndrome will include a focus on carefully and progressively stretching the piriformis muscle.
However, stretching only piriformis muscles may not be enough to treat piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome may cause or caused by muscle imbalances in lumbo-pelvic-hip region. Stabilization of the pelvic may be affected by tight and short muscles hip flexors, hamstrings, piriformis and SI- joint dysfunction, resulting in overuse and spasm of the piriformis. So, muscle balance around your hip, pelvic and SI-joint are also important to treat. Faulty movement patterns are common for people who is suffering from piriformis syndrome. Piriformis spasms limit pelvic movement and in turn leads to gait deviations and compensations. If the muscle imbalances and faulty movement patterns left untreated, piriformis syndrome may return.

If you go to Physical therapy and did not get help, try Pilates with experienced Teacher. Pilates one-on-one training treats your whole body, not just a pain. So, you get help also your overall possible muscle imbalances and compensations – That is priceless.

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Take Care Of Your Spinal Health After Spinal Fusion

  

Did you know that here in the US the volume of spinal fusion surgeries is the most increased among Orthopedic “procedures”? Since 1996 the number of spinal surgeries has increased as much as 116%. Spinal fusion surgery is not that simple and it’s not always successful either. Sometimes underlying problems which caused your back pain in the first place are still there; poor posture, sacroiliac joint instability, weak supporting muscles, hip and thoracic spine limited rotational movement and shoulder girdle hypo or hyper mobility. Without proper treatment of underlying problems the spinal fusion alone is not the final answer to get rid of your pain longer term.

It is very true that in many cases the lower back pain is caused by lumbar spine instability (and nerve irritation) which basically means that there is too much unnecessary movement between vertebrae. Spinal instability does not come overnight and it is more complicated than how it looks like. One reason to have lower back spinal instability is when your hip rotation is limited or you have limited rotation on your thoracic spine. Lumbar spine does not have rotation or lateral flexion, but if rotation is not happening naturally from the place where it should (hip, thoracic spine), the body starts to compensate with excess rotational movement from your lumbar spine. Lumbar spine has to change it’s functioning and force vertebras, discs and ligaments to work the way that they are not built for, causing nerve compression and PAIN. And if spinal supporting muscles are also weak they are adding unnecessary movement and pain. Research shows that deep stabilizer back muscles are “shut down” those who got chronic back pain.

What happened after spinal fusion then? Spinal fusion limits your spine movement at the place which caused the pain, and that is a good thing, right? Unfortunately, body starts to compensate again and looks for the next place to do those missing movements and guess what, that is above and below fusion point. Those vertebras are now in danger and maybe develop similar spinal instability and nerve irritation to those vertebras which were fused together. What now – new fusion?

However, there is an other way to deal with this and that is to find a Physical Therapist who will assess your posture, muscle balance and whole body functioning, not just isolate back problems alone. Heat/cold pack, massage and back exercises are not working. Main problem might be elsewhere than in your lumbar spine alone. PT will analyze your movement and concentrate on increasing your spine & joints mobility and normal range of motion (especially rotation) and decrease hyper mobility with proper strengthening exercises (spinal stabilization training). Our body is a kinetic chain and all parts have to work together, so instead of just isolating to treat back pain, you must understand and treat the whole body.

Getting lifelong results and better spinal and proper body function, I warmly recommend to try Pilates private training. Pilates is an incredible treatment for all people with or without spinal fusion. If you don’t find a Physical Therapist who can teach Pilates for you, just look for an experienced Pilates Instructor who has education and experience to working with people with back pain and after spinal fusion. Pilates does probably not include that much stretching that people with back pain might need (hamstrings, piriformis, hip flexors), but it is a good way to strengthen your spinal supporting muscles, improve your range of motion and working your whole body more efficiently and safely. And the best part – with good Pilates instructor you will learn BODY AWARENESS. Body awareness is going to be a big help taking care of your spinal health after spinal fusion and back pain – and that is PRICELESS!!

More about PilatesWise Pilates & Spinal Stabilization training for back problems, please check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDzsq7u199s or Visit our website click HERE.

Pilates Helps Lessen Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause is a term that means you’ve had your last menstrual cycle or period. Typically age for this is between 48-55. Menopause can be accompanied by a number of physical changes and symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, joint pains, anxieties, irritabilities, depressions and sleep disturbances. Menopause and post menopause time are also risk of health problems such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

Many studies have shown that women who are physically active can lessen their menopause symptoms more than sedentary women. Some studies found also that weight gain after menopause is more likely in sedentary women than in women who maintain physically active lifestyle. Exercise appears to have a great influence on women’s total body fat and abdominal fat.  Abdominal fat storages are linked with heart disease and diabetes, so it’s important to keep your body fit and waist trimmed. Exercise has positive impact to your mood too and has been shown to be a helpful treatment of depression.

Pilates is a great exercise method for menopause. Pilates has been proven to improve quality of life for menopause women. Here are some of the benefits of Pilates method

  • Improves posture (less pain and aches, prevent arthritis)
  • Enhances pelvic floor muscles (prevents incontinence)
  • Increase spinal mobility (less back pain)
  • Improves muscle flexibility (maintains joints range of motion)
  • Enhances muscular strength, flexibility and endurance (less muscle mass loss per year, toned muscles boost your metabolism)
  • Decreases or prevent low back pain (core strength)
  • Makes you feel younger and more dynamic in your daily life (boosts energy) 
  • Improves bone density and joint health (prevents osteoporosis)
  • Improves lung capacity (active breathing technique is part of Pilates)
  • Relieves muscle tension (stretches your tight muscles)
  • Boosts self confidence and body image (body and mind connection)
  • Decreases mood swing (boosts energy and mood)

Long list but all this is true. Our bodies change with age but we have more control on it than we think. Pilates teaches you many valuable skills you can use in everyday life, giving you the feeling that you are really involved and helping you to enjoy your life by keeping your mind and body healthy.

More about PilatesWise program in Carlsbad, California please click HERE