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Active Release Techniques: A Revolutionary Approach to Treating Sciatica

Sciatica is a common muscle and joint condition that affects many individuals, particularly those who have a sedentary lifestyle or spend long hours sitting at their jobs. The pain associated with sciatica can be debilitating, often radiating down the leg and compromising daily activities. In this article, we will explore the revolutionary approach of Active Release Techniques (ART) in the treatment of sciatica. We will delve into the causes of sciatica, the role of ART in addressing it, and provide easy tips to prevent this painful condition from occurring. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, it is crucial to take control of your health and seek professional help. Contact Performance Care Stretch Clinic for a consultation and discover the benefits of ART firsthand.


Understanding Sciatica

Woman getting treatment for pain

Sciatica is characterized by pain that originates from the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. This nerve starts in the lower back and sacrum, pierces through the piriformis muscle and extends down both legs to each foot. The key components of sciatica include weakness with numbness and tingling in the affected lower limb, pain traveling at least to the knee if not below, and pain exclusively radiating to the buttock and the back of the affected lower limb. It is essential to differentiate sciatica from pain that travels to the front of the leg, as this may indicate a different underlying condition.

Sciatica can occur due to overuse of the affected muscle tissue or tissues. While disc injuries in the lower back can contribute to sciatica, muscle compression, particularly of the piriformis muscle or hamstring muscles, is a common cause. This compression of the sciatic nerve often develops gradually over time due to repetitive movements. It is important to note that sciatica does not manifest suddenly; rather, it is the result of a slow buildup of muscle imbalances and nerve compression.


The Role of Active Release Techniques (ART) for Sciatica

ART is a patented soft tissue treatment that specifically targets scar tissue and adhesions responsible for pain, numbness, weakness, stiffness, and biomechanical dysfunction associated with repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). With only a handful of practitioners worldwide certified in this technique, ART stands as a revolutionary approach to treating sciatica and other musculoskeletal problems.

Those certified in ART are equipped to identify the underlying cause of sciatic pain. Through a comprehensive analysis of gait and muscle strength, these professionals can determine the imbalances leading to the development of sciatica. Once sciatica is diagnosed, the appropriate ART treatment is administered to facilitate faster recovery by breaking up scar tissue that causes muscle dysfunction, tightness and nerve impingement that is commonly misdiagnosed as a low back problem. ART certified imdividuals utilize stretching techniques to address the muscles and tendons contributing to sciatica, including those in the hips and lower back.

ART not only aims to alleviate symptoms but also focuses on addressing the root cause of musculoskeletal problems. By breaking down scar tissue and adhesions, ART enhances flexibility, movement, and overall function. To complement ART treatment, rehab exercises that activate, lengthen and strengthen the correct muscles are prescribed. Manipulation techniques targeting the lower back, sacrum, pelvis, and hips may also be employed to reduce nerve irritation and inflammation. The number of treatments required varies depending on the duration of the condition and should be discussed with an ART professional before commencing treatment.


Easy Tips to Avoid Sciatica

Prevention is key when it comes to sciatica. Incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine can help you avoid the development of this painful condition:

  • Avoid Prolonged Sitting: Sitting for extended periods can contribute to the onset of sciatica by placing excessive pressure on the nerve. Make a conscious effort to stand up and move around every 1.5 hours, especially if you have a desk job.

  • Maintain Proper Posture: Sit with proper posture at your workspace to minimize strain on your lower back and hips. Ensure your chair provides adequate support, and consider using a lumbar pillow or support if needed.

  • Diversify Your Workouts: Engage in a variety of workouts to strengthen your spine and surrounding tissues. Incorporate activities such as HIIT classes, weight training, cardiovascular exercise, and Pilates into your routine. This variety helps prevent muscle imbalances and reduces the risk of injury. Focusing on full range of motion exercises of the torso, hips and legs will reduce the chance of pinching the sciatic nerve.

Remember, consistency is key. The more diligent you are in implementing these tips, the lower the likelihood of developing sciatica.


Active Release Techniques (ART) present a groundbreaking approach to treating sciatica. By targeting scar tissue and adhesions, ART addresses the root cause of musculoskeletal problems, providing long-lasting relief and improved function. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, don't hesitate to seek professional help from an ART professional.

Contact Performance Care Stretch Clinic for a consultation and embark on a journey toward a pain-free life.


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