Sciatica: aka the Biggest Pain in the Butt!

By Ross Ashcraft

Do you have Sciatica?  Many of us have a lingering ached in our tail bone.  Sometimes it shoots down our leg.  Periodically it will give us a numbing sensation.  Or do you feel it as a burning sensation?

Sciatica or Sciatic Syndrome or Sciatic nerve pain or Piriformis Syndrome is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve as it leaves the sacrum.  The sacrum is the bone just above your tail bone.  This nerve can be compressed in several ways.


1.  When the sacral bone is twisted it presents a sharper edge to the sciatic nerve.  Therefore, when we move around or have extra stress in that region.  The nerve rubs up against the bone causing pain.

2.  The sciatic nerve pierces the piriformis muscles.  In 80% to 85% of the populations, the piriformis muscle and the sciatic nerve lie side by side.  However, in some cases people will have this nerve passing through or piercing this muscle.  Therefore, every time it gets inflamed or moved excessively it will rub the sciatic nerve and cause pain.

3.  The piriformis muscle gets inflamed.  When the piriformis gets inflamed it encroaches on the territory of the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve gets annoyed at this obvious invasion and gets very inflamed.  The sciatic then swells pushing against the bone and other structures which causes pain.  Of the three conditions, this is the one that is the most easily treated.


1.  Find a Massage Therapist.  Getting soft tissue work by a massage therapist that knows how to address this condition will give you a lot of relief.

2.  Stretch before going to sleep.  I have three stretching routines for you below.   Each stretch must be held for a minimum of 30 seconds.  Ideally you’ll hold much longer or until you feel the muscle relax.

A)  While lying on your back, use an elastic band or any rope to pull your foot across your body.  Hold until you feel a release.

B)  While kneeling on the floor, outstretch one leg behind you and twist the foot of the other outward.  Hold until you feel a release.


C)  See below for how to modify this stretch by using your bed or soft table.  Lean over your knee until you feel a release.

 Challenge:   Try all these stretches and see which one works best for you.  Comment on your experience.  We love comments!


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