Timothy Hodges, LMT, JSCCI, CACI, CSC I Counterstrain Portland
Portland, Oregon


Sciatica is one of the most common and frustrating conditions in the lower half of the body and yet it is often misunderstood. The pain is primarily felt in the legs, but the culprit in most cases is neural and originates in the lower back. In cases of idiopathic sciatica (no known cause) there are a myriad of potential sources for this apparent nerve compression. For cases of sciatica that don’t have any true neural compression from an HNP (herniated disc) or result from a degenerative spine condition like stenosis, it is necessary to be able to assess the involvement of other systems that can affect the sciatic nerve. The most common systematic dysfunction that produces sciatica is in the visceral system and more specifically, the viscera of the lower abdominal cavity. Organs like the colon and bladder and their associated visceral ligaments can spasm in response to injury and create a severe compression of tissues in the abdomino-pelvic cavity. In some cases the connective tissue of the colon or bladder can impact the function of the epidural venous plexus and actually create venous congestion of the lower lumbar spine and the nerve roots of the lumbo-sacral plexus. This is termed a congestive sciatica. This type of sciatica will test positive for signs of true neural involvement yet most people will not show actual nerve compression through MRI assessment.


Fascial Counterstrain treatment of the visceral system is capable of turning off the visceral protective reflexes (nociautonomic) of the colon, bladder, kidney’s, ureter’s and other structures and the associated somatic/muscle tissues involved in this pain-generated protective reflex (nocifensive reflex). **This can relieve the strain put on the area of dysfunction and relieve symptoms in a matter of minutes. Visceral dysfunction, while accounting for nearly 70% of cases of sciatica, often requires additional attention to arterial, neural, venous/lymphatic and ligamentous systems to complete the treatment process successfully. FCS is capable of not only discerning which systems are in need of treatment, but also where and in what order these tissues need to be addressed. Take a look at the treatment demonstration where a client with both sciatic pain and a limited Straight Leg Raise recovers to a normal range of motion and no pain after treatment using Fascial Counterstrain.