A Pain In The Butt – Piriformis Syndrome


How many times have you heard the word “piriformis”? In average, at least ones in your lifetime. Quite often, when you have a deep hip pain , the health practitioners you go to would refer to the symptoms as sciatica ; some more insightful practitioners would perform certain tests to corroborate the diagnosis – piriformis syndrome.


Piriformis Syndrome is a condition in which the Piriformis muscle becomes hypertonic and either compresses the sciatic nerve, pulls at its attachments ( grater trochanter of femur and sacrum), or both. In as much as 50% of the population, the sciatic nerve either travels underneath the piriformis muscles, through the piriformis muscle, passes over the piriformis muscle, or passes around the piriformis muscle. When the sciatic nerve is irritated , compressed, or pinched, it causes deep pain in the buttock muscles and pain, numbness, tingling down the leg. Quite often the contributing factors are biomechanical and physical, resulting in fascial adhesions or tendinitis. Bending, lifting, sports, and driving can aggravate piriformis. The major contributing factor for most people is prolonged sitting. Foot problems such as extra high arches are the huge contributors to piriformis syndrome. Another common reason piriformis gets and remains tight is the compression of the second through fourth sacral vertebrae, which are the piriformis’ origin. That creates hypertonicity in the muscle.


Most doctors would suggest the symptoms covering solutions such as painkillers, muscle relaxants, cortisone shots, anti-inflammatory drugs. Some doctors would tell you that there are no drugs to treat the issue, and surgery is your only option. Frequently, the pain would go away with a chiropractic adjustment, but the results are not sustainable and last for just a few days at the most.


As we know, a repetitive injury leads to a formation of the scar tissue, which in its origin is a normal tissue that has been disrupted from its organized structure. This scar tissue is microscopic and is not in the muscle, but in the fascia, thin-to-thick, very tough connective tissue that covers and holds together each muscle in the body. Fascial adhesions cause pain and dysfunction. Breaking such adhesions means liberating a client from chronic pain. And this is where A.R.T. can help in a very few treatment sessions, starting with identifying the involved structures and releasing them in no time.





Chronic Pain – There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel

Let’s talk about PAIN and how it is perceived by an individual and as a group in our society. Most of us are living with a very deep misconception about pain. It is called a disease-centric mentality. If you meet someone with severe pain when they try to move their neck or leg in any direction, the first thought that comes to mind is that they have an injury. No doubt, that is what everyone tells them, from their doctor to their friends. But… it is an assumption. And it is almost always wrong. But why? Pain is very real; it’s been there for months or even years, and they can pinpoint the exact area where it is felt. So people assume it’s from some injury or disease in that muscle, joint, or organ. Conventional treatment for this type of chronic pain is to offer surgery, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and opioids that, all together, often lack long-term benefits and even subject patients to other health risks. Chemicals don’t have side effects on the human body; they just have effects. America’s number four killer is adverse drug reactions to properly prescribed medication, with more than 100,000 estimated deaths per year. Physicians’ Desk Reference contains 32,000 pages of drug side effects. It is not a coincidence that associating pain with injury is good business for drug companies all over the world and the medical profession. The pain industry in the U.S. alone is worth over $1 trillion. The rate of opiate addiction in this country is at a historic high. Scary? Think of Supply and Demand. In reality, that is a great news. That means we can change it. Here is how.

In general, every living organism needs two basic things in order to operate indefinitely: nutrients and waste removal. Diminishment of either one -causes aging and degeneration. Staying physically active and taking care of our bodies are things that every one of us has heard at least once in our lifetime. How about considering every day of your life as an investment in your health account? Following this paradigm, people would get healthier with age, not sicker, the way they have been led to believe by the disease-managing market. It is propagated by allopathic medicine illusions that purport that health can only be achieved and sustained by means of chemical control. On the opposite side, holistic medicine teaches that the body has a natural ability to heal itself and that its intelligence is more powerful than man-made chemicals.

Just a few years ago, I used to say that I wanted to change this broken SYSTEM. Now I know, the biggest problem is not the system, but a person’s MINDSET. Many people would rather not participate in a healing process that requires some effort on their part. They want an immediate cure, something that will stop the annoying symptoms – the joint and muscle pain, the fatigue, etc. – so they can continue on their path of self-ignorance and self-abuse. Holistic medicine promotes a healthy condition that is not conducive to disease by allowing the body to express its natural potential. That is a different path that can be taken by CHOICE. The holistic approach to life is something that you take every day, whether you are healthy or not. It is a lifestyle, and a better quality of life. I know that to a certain extent, the message I am trying to convey will fall on deaf ears. I am at peace with that. The number of people spending thousands of dollars per year out of their own pockets for alternative healing methods that are not covered by their health care plans are on the rise. That is a fundamental shift. And that is WHY I do what I do. I love saving my clients from expensive procedures, dangerous drugs, and thousands of co-pays and deductibles.

When your view of pain changes, it transforms how you approach treatment, and it determines the treatment. According to Travell & Simons, 90% of pain originates in microscopic areas of imbalance in muscles, called trigger points, not from disease or injury. If it was an injury, I wouldn’t be able to help my client be restored to a normal, pain-free range of motion in one treatment session. This is excellent news because it means that we can have significant, even total, success with helping the body work its way out of chronic pain and limited movement, and treat non-injury types of pain without resorting to drugs, surgery, or a reduction in activity. While muscles cause pain and have to be treated, we use functional anatomy and a coordinated movement approach to achieve faster and more comprehensive results by focusing on normalizing the range and the quality of the joints’ motions.

So for all of you who are determined to find and eliminate the cause of your pain, rather than continue taking care of the symptoms, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A mental paradigm shift opens up the world to hundreds of possible ways to add life to your years and add years to your life. As I’ve said before, it is a matter of CHOICE.