Sciatica Testimonial from Jason A.

“I had injured my hip while skateboarding about eight months before I started seeing Nicole. The constant and unbalanced overuse of the muscles in my leg and hip caused them to lock up on one side, and I started to have pain and limited mobility in my left leg. When the pain and immobility initially happened, I told myself “eh, I’ll probably be better in a week or two.” Boy was I wrong. My injury gradually worsened over time, and I started to experience full blown Sciatica, which rendered me bed ridden for days on end, taking pain killers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The pain in my leg and hip was so bad, I had to leave my friends wedding reception so I could go lay down in my car for an hour. The long term chronic pain was making me irritable and depressed because it was literally robbing me of life moments with friends and family. I spent eight months seeing various Doctors, Chiropractors, and Massage Therapists, and also gave Yoga a shot. When someone in my Yoga class noticed that I couldn’t even sit on a mat without groaning in pain, he referred me to Nicole. After a few sessions with Nicole, my pain started decreasing substantially and I was able to regain a lot of my lost mobility. After an eight month ordeal of seeing various specialists, Nicole was the first person who was able to set me back on track to actual recovery. I just now got back from spending the entire weekend down at the lake water skiing, and I thank Nicole for helping me live my life again.”


Low Back Pain Testimonial from Tom M.

“I have had an apparent short leg for many years with lower back pain. I went to a chiropractor and other massage therapists but didn’t get any relief. Then I found Nicole’s site and an article on her site that had a study on a person with the same condition. I decided to give her a try. During the session, she explained to me that my condition was caused by a rotated hip, and her therapy would be able to align the pelvis and thereby make the legs equal length. Through her therapy, my pelvis has returned to its natural place and my legs are now the same length. She has also been able to help with lower back pain, sciatic pain, and neck and shoulder stiffness. She also helps veterans by giving a 20% discount. She is the only one in this area that advertises training in Precision Neuromuscular Therapy. She is personable and very professional, and I would recommend her to anyone without reservation.

Sciatica Testimonial from Dwight W.

“I had a bout of lower back pain that became my first full blown experience with Sciatica. Within three sessions, Nicole’s expertise and skill had diminished the symptoms and not only put me on the path to full recovery, but helped me understand how to prevent reoccurrence. I was able to get back on track to full mobility following the first session, and after the second, was able to participate in some very strenuous activity while on vacation with my children. Highly recommended! Thanks Nicole.”

The Sciatic Nerve

I’ve had many clients come to me over the years requesting help with sciatic-type pain; either after having been diagnosed with “sciatica” or from assuming that it could be such. Unfortunately, it’s been made very clear to me that many people—the healthcare industry included—aren’t aware that discrepancies in certain muscles could mimic sciatica. I’m not at all saying that true sciatica couldn’t be the case, but my goal is to provide you with additional information to consider when it comes to the sciatic nerve, the muscles around it, and how PNMT can help you to become pain-free. First I’ll start off with the anatomy and then I’ll go into other details.

The sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body, is actually comprised of two nerves—tibial and common fibular (a.k.a. common peroneal)—which splits into two divisions, usually at the knee. Per Tortora & Derrickson (11th Edition), the nerve root origin is as follows…

  • Sciatic: L4, L5, S1, S2, S3
  • Tibial: L4, L5, S1, S2, S3
  • Common Fibular: L4, L5, S1, S2
    * (Click here for a dermatome chart: dermatome meaning the area of skin that provides sensory input to the central nervous system.)

As the sciatic nerve descends down the thigh, it sends branches to the hamstring muscles and the adductor magnus. At the knee, the distribution to additional muscles is as follows…

  • Tibial: Gastrocnemius, plantaris, soleus, popliteus, tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus, and flexor hallucis longus. It then divides into the medial plantar and lateral plantar branches:
    – Medial Plantar: Abductor hallucis, flexor digitorum brevis, and flexor hallucis brevis.
    – Lateral Plantar: Quadratus plantae, abductor digiti minimi, flexor digiti minimi brevis, three lateral lumbricals, dorsal interossei, plantar interossei, and adductor hallicus.
  • Common Fibular: Divides into the superficial fibular and deep fibular branches:
    – Superficial Fibular: Fibularis longus and fibularis brevis.
    – Deep Fibular: Tibialis anterior, extensor halluscis longus, fibularis tertius, extensor digitorum longus, and extensor digitorum brevis.

What could happen when the sciatic nerve is affected? Well, here’s what Tortora & Derrickson stated in their 11th Edition book…

Sciatic nerve injury, the most common form of back pain, is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Pain may extend from the buttock down the posterior and lateral aspect of the leg and the lateral aspect of the foot. It may be injured because of a herniated (slipped) disc, dislocated hip, osteoarthritis of the lumbosacral spine, pressure from the uterus during pregnancy, inflammation, irritation, or an improperly administered gluteal intramuscular injection.

To take it a step further and per my Precision Neural Mobilization training manual, a normal response from the sciatic nerve during a deep stretch, for example, could result in a sensation down the posterior thigh which may extend into the calf and foot. On the other hand, there are indications and causative factors that could result in abnormal responses. They are as follows…

Now back to some muscles and PNMT….

The gluteus minimuspiriformis, and hamstrings are a few muscles that can mimic sciatica. Trigger points (click here and here for previous posts on TrP’s—and please note that the muscles below, in bold, link to webpages that show TrP referral patterns) in the gluteus minimus can refer pain all the way down the side of the leg; usually stemming from the anterior fibers. TrP’s in the piriformis can send pain from the buttocks down the back of the thigh; however, the pain doesn’t go past the knee—it is also well known for its ability to entrap the sciatic nerve, so any tightness will produce sciatic symptoms. TrP’s in the hamstrings can also send pain down the back of the thigh. Travell reports that there are “rare” cases where the sciatic nerve is entrapped between two heads of the hamstring attachments on the ischial tuberosity; however, this study by Kari Saikku, Jarkko Vasenius, and Pekka Saar from the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland found that this sort of entrapment “is not extremely rare.”

At the end of the day, muscular discrepancies within the muscular-skeletal system can in fact mimic sciatic-type symptoms—and I want you to be aware of this, especially if you have tried every other option out there to no avail. There are more holistic and non-invasive approaches to treating pain and dysfunction, and PNMT is a prime example. By taking just a few measurements to see how a person’s body is aligned, a trained therapist can ascertain what muscles are pulling where, and treat the affected muscles to help the individual to become pain-free again.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

As always, I hope you find this information informative… And more importantly, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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“Neutral balance alignment is key to becoming pain free!”™ ~ Me


Referred Pain At-A-Glance

Before I go on with my post, I would like to first state that I have inserted Wikipedia’s links for the following conditions in case some of you are unfamiliar; however, please keep in mind that they do not mention PNMT—or any specific modality of massage—as an option for pain-relief, aside from the brief-mention of “massage” in the carpal tunnel and piriformis syndrome links under Treatment. Traditional medicine is basically the main focus, which is one of the reasons why I felt it was important to start this blog. At the end of the day, PNMT is extremely beneficial for pain and dysfunction caused by muscular imbalances within the muscular-skeletal system. What’s even better is that it is non-invasive!

Referred pain is a phenomenon used to describe pain perceived at an area, adjacent to or at a distance from, the site of an injury’s origin. For example, carpal tunnel symptoms can be caused by muscular imbalances in the shoulder and/or upper arm. These imbalances can throw off the alignment of muscles and tendons down the arm. The result is not necessarily pain in the shoulder, but instead, pain that is similar to carpal tunnel. Interesting, huh?

Assuming you would agree, I’ll go ahead and get a little more specific, using sciatica as another great example. In my experience, it appears that many people aren’t aware of specific muscles in and around the buttocks that can mimic true sciatica. The piriformis, gluteus minimus, and hamstrings being perfect culprits. Most people are told that sciatica is directly related to the sciatic nerve; generally caused by compression of the lumbar nerves L4 or L5; sacral nerves S1, S2, or S3; or by compression of the sciatic nerve itself. There is also another diagnosis called piriformis syndrome. This is when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated by the piriformis muscle due to it being in the shortened position or from spasming. (Please read the portion on Davis’ Law in this post if you are unfamiliar with “shortened” muscles and how they occur.) Not only can muscles in the shortened position entrap or compress nerves, but they may also contain TrP’s that replicate nerve-related pain, such as the carpal tunnel and sciatic-type symptoms I mentioned, among others. (Please read this post for more detailed information on TrP’s.)

I know it may sound crazy that muscles could actually be the root cause of the above mentioned problems, but I promise you it is indeed very possible. If you have tried other options out there, up to and including surgery, but have had no relief or it was short-lived, I encourage you to look into this form of medical massage. If you live in the Cincinnati, OH area and are interested in reading some testimonials from my clients, please click here.

As always, I hope you find this information informative!

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“Neutral balance alignment is key to becoming pain free!”™ ~ Me