Archive for 'sciatic nerve pain relief'

Ouch! Back Pain Again!

Today is the first day of Spring - are you ready? I certainly hope Mother Nature is ready for Spring; we've had enough of this white stuff in the last couple of weeks to last well into next winter!

Speaking of snow shoveling, quite a few people have come in with back issues in the last week or so. Back pain is the worst, isn't it? Especially when it radiates down your leg. This is often due to the piriformis muscle tightening up and pressing on that pesky sciatic nerve. Today's video will show you a technique to end that sciatic spasm right away, with the help of a friend or family member! In addition, we’ll talk about another way to do this piriformis massage if you don’t have someone else available to help. Either way, you’ll be able to relieve that pain and feel better.

Today’s video demonstrates how to use an acupressure point that releases any spasm in your piriformis muscle. It’s usually a bit painful at first, but if you take a few deep breaths and get through it, the pain reduces and reduces until it’s just about gone. Try it – I’m sure you’ll like it.

If you are home alone when your piriformis spasms, not to worry. You can do this amazing little technique that helps release all of the tension in your piriformis muscle, through a simple self-massage:

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor.

Place your fists or back of your hands under the center of each buttock.

Now, inhale as you roll your knees gently to the right, then exhale slowly while using your abdominal muscles to pull your knees back to the center.

On your next breath, roll your knees to the other side.

Breathe deeply and continue slowly rolling your knees from one side to the other for 1 to 2 minutes. Be sure to keep your feet flat and knees bent throughout this entire exercise.

Dropping knees to the left with the fists placed under buttocks

You can also use a small child’s ball for this self-massage. Place one of these handy and inexpensive balls (you can pick them up at Walmart or Target) under one buttock at a time, instead of using your hands, making it a little easier to relax your arms and shoulders. Some people use tennis balls, but I find them too firm.

Best of Health,


Do You Know Your Psoas!?

Today, I'd like to get back to my series of videos on how unevenness in our pelvic area can cause some pretty nasty back pain, and what you can do about it.

Our previous discussions revolved around having one hip higher than the other and a simple exercise that you can do to remedy that; and also, a tight piriformis muscle (across your butt) and an exercise for that.

If you don’t know much about your psoas muscle, it’s similar to the piriformis, but on the front of the body. It connects the top of your leg to the front of the spine, crossing over the hip.

Sitting for long periods can cause this muscle to tighten up. When the front of your pelvic area is tighter than the back, you have more of that unevenness that your back doesn’t like. Sooooooo, now that we all spend so much time sitting in front of our computers, we are seeing more back pain caused by a tight psoas.

Fortunately, there is a simple stretch that can help lengthen that psoas for relief, and, when done regularly, prevent that pain in your hip/low back from becoming a regular visitor.

The lunge in the video, below, is the crème de la crème of psoas exercises. If yours is tight, you will not be able to stretch very far at first, but, no worries! Just keep at it and you will gain more and more flexibility as the days go by.

AND, if you have had that tightness and the accompanying pain for a while, don’t forget to relax your back first. This relaxation technique is the best one, but if you can’t get down on the floor, you can stack some pillows under your lower legs and lie on your bed to relax.







Notice, in the second photo, a small pillow under the head. This is to make sure that your neck is not arched. If your chin is pointing toward the ceiling, use a pillow, or a rolled hand towel, to support the head.

If you need additional modifications, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Meanwhile, take care of your back and it will take care of you!

Best of Health,




Is Your Butt Tight?

Is there such a thing as a “too tight butt”? I couldn't resist asking that one, but the answer is, YES; especially when one cheek is tighter than the other. Perhaps you have a diagnosis of Piriformis Syndrome? Well, that's what this diagnosis means. Your piriformis muscle on one side is tighter than on the other side, and when that happens, your whole pelvic area is out of sync. The piriformis is a thick muscle that runs very close to your sciatic nerve. So, when it tenses up, it sometimes presses on your sciatic nerve, causing pain that radiates down your whole leg. YIKES!

My uncle Stanley got sciatica sometime during his retirement and his doctor told him there was nothing he could do except to take pain pills. Sciatic pain can be debilitating. I watched an active, vital man shrivel up and die in about 18 months. Uncle Stanley’s experience is one of the reasons I started coaching people with back pain. He could have been helped through exercise but both he and his doctor were older and set in their ways…

Today's exercise will help you stretch the piriformis muscle and take the pressure right off that sciatic nerve!

As always, don’t hesitate to ask any questions, or about more modifications. I am happy to respond.

And think about getting someone on your holiday gift list a gift certificate for personalized coaching for their chronic pain, or Reiki healing sessions. Contact me for more information.

Best of Health,


Help For Your Pain In The Butt!

Have you been diagnosed with Piriformis Syndrome?

Do you have Sciatica and are not sure of the cause?

Let me tell you a story about a really thick muscle that can cause a lot of misery if you don’t take good care of it.

The Piriformis stretches from the bottom of your hip, across the center of your butt cheek, to the lower spine. We use it to rotate our hip and to turn our leg outward. It sits on top of a section of our sciatic nerve. So, if you’ve ever had sciatic pain, you know how debilitating it can be. That nasty pain travels from your lower spine, all the way down your leg when it's tense or tight, and you're in excruciating pain - right?!

It’s not so hard to keep your Piriformis strong and flexible, though.

Here’s a massage that will help to relieve your pain:

Place a ball or your fist under the butt cheek of your extended left leg. Place your right foot on the floor, bend the right leg, and use your right foot to roll yourself around on the ball until you feel the exact location on your butt cheek where the pain is most intense. Massage that area until the pain lets up. It will be painful while you are rolling on that spot, but breathe deeply and keep going, you’ll be glad you did! I don’t recommend tennis balls because they’re too hard, so try something softer, or use your fist. Make sure that you always massage both sides – even when your pain is only on one side. When one side is more flexible than the other, you will have pain, so fixing one will throw the other side off.

Another great stretch to keep your piriformis flexible and healthy is Sleeping Pigeon.

 Here is a link to that one.

These are both simple things you can do every day in order to prevent that terrible pain from interfering with your life. You deserve to be pain free!

Let me know if you have any questions about these or other exercises for sciatic pain.

Best of Health,