My lower back pain and sciatica continued for many years, I tried various physical therapies; from soft tissue massage to the more aggressive manipulation of chiropractors and osteopaths; I also used heat/ice packs, pain medication and physiotherapy stretching exercises. Nothing seemed to fully relieve my symptoms, I continued to live with constant low level nagging pain to the excruciating unable to move pain!
Eight years ago I was recommended to a Bowen therapist, who after a number of treatments, was able to relieve my long-term pain and symptoms. So why has this therapy been so successful for me and many others. I was so amazed by the relief I experienced..... I trained to become a Bowen therapist!
Bowen is a form of soft tissue manipulation, releasing muscle tension and impingements throughout the body. These subtle adjustments allow the body to release tension and re-align naturally, regular sessions over a period of time can have a significant effect on the rebalancing of the muscular skeletal system.
The sciatic nerve is widest and longest single nerve in your body. It is made up of two nerves, originating in the lumbar spine at the back of pelvis, running through your buttocks, down the back of your legs between the hamstrings; travelling around the front of the leg below the knee; before splitting into to two parts: forming the tibia and common perineal nerves.
Pain can be caused by pressure or inflammation on the nerve, this can range from mild - intermittent: to excruciating- constant. Sciatica is not a condition, but rather a symptom. It has been estimated, that 40% of people, will experience sciatica at least once during their lifetime.
Pain is felt when there is entrapment of the sciatic nerve, usually when soft tissues exerts inappropriate pressure; such as the Piriformis muscle, squeezing the nerve and causing a deep burning pain in the middle of the buttocks. In 12-15% of people the Piriformis is split with the nerve going through the this muscle. Deep muscles can also squeeze on the sciatic nerve. Compression pain occurs when hard tissue, such as the spine exerts inappropriate pressure on the nerves, such as the spine rubbing onto a nerve root. Piriformis syndrome usually stays in one place, while sciatic pain also travels down the leg.
It has been estimated that 40% of people will experience sciatica at least once during their life, with ‘Acute Sciatica’ lasting approximately 4-8 weeks, ‘Chronic Sciatica’ being present for 8 wks or more. Many cases have no obvious cause, any irritation of the nerve initiates pain. However, generally it is thought that any combination of heavy lifting/manual work, sedentary lifestyle, long periods of sitting and also pregnancy can all exacerbate the nerve.
Prevention is the best cure! Exercise for core strength. Maintain correct posture during movement, especially when lifting. Never sit with keys or a wallet in your pocket! Buy a suitable mattress/pillow, which supports the spine, during sleep. Book yourself a course of Bowen!