Moving with the Feldenkrais Method for Sciatica Pain

Proper body mechanics are important at all times, but especially when you are struggling with low back pain due to injuries like herniated discs or sciatica.

Medical experts will often prescribe gentle exercise, physical therapy or mind body practices like yoga or Pilates, before considering interventional treatments or surgical options. A recent press release in the San Francisco Gate announced the publication of a new book entitled Stop Sciatica Now, which teaches individuals struggling with sciatica symptoms how to use the Feldenkrais method to alleviate their pain. So what exactly is this and how does it work?

The Feldenkrais Method was named for its founder who was a physicist, mechanical engineer and judo pro who developed the technique to cure himself after sustaining a debilitating knee injury. He based his ideas on biomechanics, physics and human development. The concept is that people develop certain habits in how they move.

When a person sustains an injury such as a herniated disc with painful sciatica symptoms, he will start adopting new patterns to compensate for the pain. It is believed that over time these new patterns actually hinder recovery so that he must develop a new perspective on functional awareness and develop new ways to move that enhance coordination and flexibility and ultimately reduce pain. The student must develop new neuromuscular patterns to retrain his mind and body–searching for new ways to move naturally.

Consistent with the idea that this is an education, individuals practicing the technique aren’t referred to as patients but rather as students.

If you suffer with sciatica from a herniated disc and your doctor has suggested exploring ways to get active through gentle movement, the Feldenkrais Method may be something you want to learn more about. The Mayo Clinic indicates the Feldenkrais Method is utilized for neck and back pain as well as neuromuscular issues.

In a session, the instructor guides the student at first with verbal direction and then with a hands-on approach, through a series of gentle movements. The student may be lying on the floor, seated or standing as they learn how to develop an awareness of new movement patterns.

Carol Siddiqi, CYT, GCFP, has been teaching Yoga, Feldenkrais Method®:
Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration® for more than 30 years

Chiropractic Care: Eliminate Pain…Restore Quality of Life

I had a patient come in a couple months ago with significant low back and right elbow pain.  Originally he injured himself about a year ago while pushing a wheelbarrow load of wet concrete mix in his back yard.  He slipped and fell, dumped the concrete all over the grass, wrenched his back and hurt his right elbow in the process.

At the time, he was living in North Carolina and went to a local Chiropractor for help.  With treatment, his low back was improving, but he wasn’t getting results with his elbow and continued to live with pain.  Not long after his fall, he and his family moved to this area and his symptoms and pain got worse again.

He tried several other Chiropractors in this area, but wasn’t satisfied with the way he was being adjusted and with the results he was getting.  He started up as a new patient in my office and after the first treatment, was amazed with how much better he felt.

I started him at two treatments per week and was quickly able to taper him down to one treatment every other week.  After about eight treatments, he is virtually pain free. He is so pleased with his progress that he will be bringing in his wife and four children for wellness care.

As a doctor of Chiropractic, I derive a great psychological income by helping a patient enjoy a greater quality of life.  When a patient is happy enough, satisfied enough, and trusts me enough to refer their spouse and children, it’s the greatest compliment I can receive.  That’s what makes practicing the art of Chiropractic truly worthwhile.

by: Dr. Tom Wachtmann, DC, Chiropractic, Functional Diagnostic Medicine,                                     Neurologically Focused Treatments  (incl. Non Surgical Spinal Decompression)