Sciatica is often used as a catch-all term by patients to refer to any pain they feel in their legs. Millions of dollars are spent each year, with limited effectiveness. This is understandable when we begin to take into consideration all the possible causes of symptoms and break down the traditional methods of diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Radiating leg pain accounts for around 5-10% of all low back pain cases. Disc related sciatica symptoms account for only 2.2% of cases. Tight or overactive muscles are usually to blame in cases diagnosed with piriformis syndrome, and THIS is where the lack of effectiveness in the treatment of radiating leg pain essentially begins! Whether conservative, or surgical, there is a LACK of diagnosing underlying conditions creating “tight” or overactive muscles!
Fortunately, new research being brought to light by researchers and doctors are shining a light on a new paradigm shift in the diagnosis and treatment of radiating pain down the leg. Deep Gluteal Syndrome, or DGS, has the same pain characteristics as sciatica and piriformis syndrome, but the true cause of the problem has finally been found!
For years, surgeons have noted and treated “fibrous scar bands” during procedures. Sciatic nerve decompression is a surgery where fibrous scar bands, also known as adhesion, are removed around the sciatic nerve to alleviate pain.
The problem is that surgery is no more beneficial than quality conservative care after 1 year! Even with surgery, a small but significant group of patients fail to improve all together! Collagen, the material that makes up adhesion, breaks down with as little as 6 pounds of tension. The keyword is tension, and its specific application. Compressive forces take much more pressure. The good news is that Integrative Diagnosis providers have been effectively treating this problem, without surgery, for over a decade!
Adhesion, as it is frequently referred as, is a build up of collagen or fibrotic tissue that acts like glue on muscles and around nerves. As adhesion builds, it limits flexibility of joints causing weakness and pain. If adhesion builds up around nerves, like the sciatic nerve, it can create symptoms of tingling, burning, or numbness. Sound familiar?
The good news is this problem is extremely common, one of the most common problems in the body, that also happens to be one of the most reversible conditions in the human body as well! Adhesion develops most commonly through overuse, think repetitive motions like running, or prolonged positions like sitting on your butt all day.
Adhesion builds up most commonly around the sciatic nerve in the buttock. Limited movement accompanies this development often with increasing symptoms. Normally, with hip flexion the sciatic nerve can stretch over 1 inch in the hip! As adhesion develops, hip flexion becomes more limited, and more stress is placed not only in the hip, but the low back and knees as well! This is a big deal for your overall health!
The concept of adhesion, or fibrous scar bands, playing a role in symptoms related to sciatic nerve mobility and entrapment represents a radical change and paradigm shift in the current diagnosis of and therapeutic approach to DGS. Effective treatment aims to break down adhesion using tension. No other method of treatment is as effective in treating this condition! In fact, other methods of treatment, like stretching or exercise, could make the condition worse!
Manual Adhesion Release, MAR, is a technique used by certified Integrative Diagnosis providers. This treatment creates enough tension on adhesion to effectively break it down over a series of visits. It is currently the only treatment that focuses on the diagnosis and breakdown of adhesion. ID providers use specific tests to establish the diagnosis and measure progress from visit to visit.
Previously, Deep Gluteal Syndrome was a complex issue difficult to overcome with traditional therapies and surgery. With this new research, paradigm shift, and advances in effective treatment coming to fruition, finally patients can get the treatment needed for their desired outcome.