How to End Sciatica in Weeks instead of Months

A Completely Different Approach with Explanations of Standard Therapies

by Lawrence Gold
certified Hanna somatic educator

The Three Biggest Mistakes Made
by People
Trying to Get Out of Pain

Click here to get to the program guaranteed to end sciatica in weeks or days.


The reason medical professionals (and their patients) regard sciatica as a difficult condition to clear up (i.e., that takes a long time) is that, even if they understand the cause, they don't have an adequate way to address that cause.

The cause? In most cases, it's nerve entrapment caused by tight muscles -- either in the low back and waist on one side -- or in the buttock (piriformis muscle).

The techniques they have at their disposal for tight muscles are massaging the back or buttock muscles or strengthening the opponent (abdominal muscles). Neither gets an adequate change and that's why sciatica takes so long to clear up, by their methods.

Sometimes, they do "nerve ablation" (burn the nerve), which produces temporary relief, or inject cortisone, which does even less.

By contrast, somatic education exercises extinguish sciatica increasingly comfortably over a space of weeks. Clinical somatic education commonly clears up sciatica in two sessions (two visits).


  • The Root Causes of Sciatica

  • Four Types of Sciatica

  • Treatment of Sciatica: non-surgical, surgical, and somatic education

  • A Guaranteed Program to Extinguish Your Own Sciatica, Completely
  • Because some people think they have sciatica -- when actually, they have other conditions that mimic sciatica -- I'm going to teach you to distinguish sciatica from other conditions.

    Typical sciatica starts at the buttock (usually one side, only) and may extend down the back of the leg as far as the foot. Sensations may include numbness, burning, or the feeling of a hot cable going down the buttock or back of the leg. If, when rubbing these places, you feel like you can't touch the pain, it's nerve pain. If rubbing brings relief, it's muscular pain, not sciatica.

    If you have pain going down the front of your leg, you may have a muscle spasm of the front thigh muscles; if pain down the side, it may be ilio-tibial (IT) band syndrome or a twisted sacrum (sacro-iliac joint dysfunction/SIJD); if skin numbness or burning down the front, it's likely a twisted sacrum.

    The Root Causes of Sciatica

    The two most common forms of sciatica come from nerve compression caused by tight muscles in the back and waist (common sciatica) or buttock (piriformis syndrome). More, below.

    The muscles of the back are like the string of an archer's bow and the spinal column, like the bow, itself. As tension of the bowstring causes the bow to stay curved, tension of the back muscles causes the low back to cave forward (swayback). Tension of the waist muscles along the side causes side tilt. The combination of swayback and side-tilt traps and puts pressure on nerve roots where they exit the spinal column. Result: sciatica.

    Muscle tension of this sort persists despite efforts at relaxation, maintained at an abnormally high level by brain-level conditioning. Because brain-level conditioning overrides efforts at relaxation, symptoms persist or return shortly after massaging, stretching or manipulation. For that reason, sciatica tends to persist despite therapeutic efforts and people find it difficult to correct. It's a matter of approach.

    While massaging, stretching, and manipulation tend to produce limited improvement, another approach brings rapid and durable improvement: change the brain-level conditioning.

    Which program? Click here.

    Click here to get to the program to end sciatica in weeks or days.

    This brain-level conditioning (muscle/movement memory) usually forms at a moment of injury (a leg or foot injury, a hard fall) as a cringe response to the pain that becomes permanent. Movement and posture change. With common sciatica, a side-tilt forms (see photos, below, showing "before" and "after".)

    To correct these changes involves ending the cringe response. The alternative to standard therapies offered, here, somatic education, causes both relaxation and a durable improvement of muscular control, posture, and movement. No external manipulation is involved; it's done entirely by learning to control the muscles and movements involved under the guidance of a clinical somatic educator or recorded somatic education self-renewal program.


    There are two most-common causes of sciatica, both involving muscular entrapment, one less-common cause involving disc damage (herniation or bulge, rupture or tear), and a still-rarer cause that involves narrowing of the spinal canal or exit holes for nerves (foramena) -- sometimes not the actual cause, but diagnosed as such -- four types, all told.

    To understand the two most common causes of sciatica, it helps to know the path of the nerve from spinal cord down the leg, as the nerve pressure occurs at different places.

    The sciatic nerves have nerve roots that exit the spinal cord at the levels, L3 - L5, the lowest three vertebra of the lumbar spine (low back). The nerves pass in front of the sacrum (central bone of the pelvis) and then behind the pelvis and down the backs of the legs. They divide approximately at the knees and pass down the calves to the feet.


    Common Sciatica

    Common sciatica results from a combination of excessive swayback (lordosis) and side-tilt (scoliosis) -- both muscularly induced conditions maintained by muscle/movement memory.

    The combination of swayback and side-tilt reduces the space through which the nerve roots pass and squeezes them ("nerve impingement" or "pinched nerve"), which causes sciatica.

    Piriformis Syndrome

    Piriformis syndrome is much rarer than common sciatica. A medical writer at writes of piriformis syndrome as follows:

    ... irritation of the sciatic nerve caused by compression of the nerve within the buttock by the piriformis muscle. Typically, the pain of the piriformis syndrome is increased by contraction of the piriformis muscle, prolonged sitting, or direct pressure applied to the muscle. Buttock pain is common."

    Piriformis syndrome comes from contraction of the piriformis muscle of the buttock (usually one side, only), through which the sciatic nerve passes in some people, and around which it passes, in others. Mere passage through the muscle is not enough to cause symptoms, but if the piriformis muscle is too tight for too long, sciatica results.

    Although both common sciatica and piriformis syndrome take a long time to develop before symptoms appear, they both resolve very quickly, once the muscular cause ends.

    for Common Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome Sciatica

    Because results typically come rapidly through the method described, here, clinical somatic education, surgical intervention is properly a last resort; an MRI scan may be scheduled while you practice somatic education exercises. Remember that I'm saying one-to-three weeks; you may have to wait longer than that for an MRI appointment. If your sciatica disappears (likely), you may have to cancel your MRI appointment.

    The Third and Fourth, Still-Rarer Varieties of Sciatica

    A third form of sciatica occurs when a spinal disc has ruptured, with nerve root pressure caused by the extruded disc material (nucleus pulposus) or by entrapment between vertebrae (L3 - L5) that have collapsed. This form of sciatica is more rare, but due to the painful nature of sciatica, some people prematurely assume that they have a ruptured disc. Diagnosis calls for an MRI scan.

    Ruptured discs, and their precursor, herniated disc(s), are delicate conditions that require special care. Refrain from somatic education exercises because, as gentle as the exercises are, you may not be accustomed or able to work gently enough. You should do somatic education exercises if you have a herniated disc only under the guidance of a certified clinical somatic educator and should not do somatic education exercises, at all, if you have a ruptured disc.

    Even more rare is a condition in which the holes (foramena) through which the nerve roots exit the spinal column, and/or the spinal canal, narrow because of bone growth (stenosis).

    Generally, these last two forms of sciatica are surgical situations, although some therapists are said to to be able to use "MacKenzie Exercises" to cause the re-uptake of extruded disc material and so alleviate symptoms. Even if successful, surgery must still deal with muscular contractions that are virtually always present with sciatica.


    Typical non-surgical treatments for sciatica consists of five approaches:

    1. heat or ice
    2. medication (epidural injections)
    3. laser treatment
    4. manipulation (chiropractic, massage)
    5. strengthening and stretching

    Of these approaches, the first three do nothing to address the cause of sciatica (described, above). The fourth approach, manipulation, has the right idea but the wrong method. Manipulation can't change the muscular conditioning that keeps muscles tight and the sciatic nerve trapped, so muscles re-tighten and sciatica symptoms reappear or never disappear.

    The fifth approach, strengthening, completely misses the mark. Sciatica comes from muscles that are too tight, so strengthening takes things precisely the wrong direction: muscles go into stronger contraction.

    Dear Lawrence,

    I found you on the Internet while researching more on [Thomas} Hanna's book, Somatics. Profound thanks to you for the two exercises that you have posted for Sciatica. My husband has responded to them with amazing results and our thanks know no bounds.

    John and Barbara Baker
    McKinney, Texas

      Thank you, Barbara, for writing.

      I encourage readers by reprinting letters such as yours (or excerpts) on the website. May I have your permission?

      Lawrence Gold

    Hello, Lawrence

    Yes, you may use the wording that makes the most sense to you and readers.


    Barbara Baker
    Posture Coach

    The key to health is motion!

    Stretching should never be done because trapped nerves lack their full elasticity and are vulnerable to damage from stretching.

    Surgical Approaches

    1. microdisectomy
    2. lumbar laminectomy


    Microdiscectomy means cutting or shaving away part of a disc that is pressing/impinging upon the sciatic nerve.

    While microdiscectomy may seem "mechanically logical", it has two major faults:

    • A disc that is bulging or herniated (more severe form of a bulge) is already in a weakened condition. To cut away part of it makes it more vulnerable to complete rupture. Then, surgery is needed to remove the extruded disc material (nucleus pulposus) that presses upon the nerve root.
    • It does nothing whatsoever about the root cause of the pressure on the disc(s) that makes them bulge, chronic muscular contraction, so recurrence of sciatica is likely.

    Lumbar Laminectomy

    Lumbar laminectomy involves removal of the part of vertebrae that can be seen on the back and felt by touching.

    Not only does laminectomy fail to address the underlying cause of sciatica; it also triggers muscles in the region to tighten further in reaction to the trauma of the surgery -- and their being too tight was the problem to begin with. If any benefit results, it comes not from the surgery but from the therapy that follows.

    The poor results of such approaches to stopping sciatica speak for themselves.

    rapidly effective, lasting, far easier and more comfortable, no "down time", and economically intelligent

    Where tight muscles put pressure on the sciatic nerve, the direct remedy is to free those muscles. "Free" means, "get to slacken".

    Since brain-conditioning keeps the muscles that cause sciatica tight, the correct (and consistently effective) approach is to recondition the brain's control of the involved muscles. That's what somatic education does. It uses a brain-level response that can be triggered by the sensations of movements done a certain way. The video, Pandiculation, explains.

    As muscle tension slackens, (1) swayback decreases, and (2) side-tilt straightens. With more space between vertebrae, the pressure comes off the sciatic nerve roots at L3-L5. Pain starts to fade, immediately. With practice, pain is completely extinguished.

    The approach works even faster for piriformis syndrome -- one step: free the piriformis muscles of the buttock.

    [AUTHOR'S NOTE: My mother had piriformis syndrome in 1989. I directed her to the developer of this approach, Thomas Hanna, Ph.D., who practiced within driving distance. This was before he trained me. She came back, that afternoon, without the sciatica and with the words, "You've got to learn this work!"]

    Relief of either of these forms of sciatica occurs within moments of the relaxation and, for all intents and purposes, is permanent, since muscle/movement memory has normalized.

    For any therapeutic approach to be effective with sciatica, it must normalize muscle/movement memory, which the underlying cause of the tensions that cause sciatica.

    The expected outcome leaves you with no movement restrictions or need to maintain a neutral spine position; you may comfortably and safely move in any direction.

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    Somatic Education Exercises for Neuromuscular Stress and Pain

    Lessons 1 - 4 specifically effective for sciatica | 1 - 4 weeks

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    The Institute for Somatic Study and Development
    Santa Fe, NM

    Lawrence Gold, certified Hanna somatic educator
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