Bowen Therapy for Chronic Sciatica and Lower Back Pain

November 23, 2019 | By More

People who have fallen often end up with lower back pain or sciatic nerve pain that radiates through the pelvis and even down the leg to the foot. If their pain does not resolve despite months of expensive conventional treatment, the cause could be a misaligned sacrum and pelvis.

Misaligned pelvic bones and associated muscle tension can cause:

Back pain


Piriformis Syndrome

Buttock, hip, leg, or knee pain

Bunions (if only one foot has a bunion, the cause is not your shoes!)

Treating Only the Painful Area is Not the Solution

Many therapies and treatment protocols merely target the location of the pain. For example, if the hip hurts, they treat the hip joint. However, if a femur isn’t seated in its hip socket properly because pelvic bones have been pulled out of symmetry by hypertonic (spasmed) muscles, treating only the hip area will NOT necessarily resolve the dysfunction. Untreated hypertonic muscles in the back, legs and/or pelvis hold those bones in asymmetry indefinitely. The result is pain and eventually osteoarthritis.

Because Bowen Therapy treats the body’s musculoskeletal structure as a system, rather than simply addressing the painful area, many clients experience pain relief.

Bowen Therapy + Applied Myoskeletal Therapy

The College of Applied Myoskeletal Therapy of Australia offers “post-grad” training to Bowen Therapy practitioners. The advanced AMT assessment protocols and additional manual therapy techniques help clients with complex skeletal misalignment due to, for example, car accidents, falls, sports injuries, or other physical trauma.

There are more than 2,000 Bowen Therapy practitioners in Canada. In 2019, 39 of them were trained in pelvis and lumbar spine assessment and alignment by instructor John Garfield, bringing the total number of Canadians with the training to 45. They are located in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. These practitioners can assess and resolve skeletal misalignment such as:

Single or double pelvis rotations

Elevated iliac crest (and associated elevated shoulder)

Locked (non-moving) sacroiliac joints

Rotated lumbar vertebrae


Functional leg length discrepancies

Pelvic upslip

Sacrum and coccyx lateral deviation 

Testimonials & Cases

Clients tell us that Bowen Therapy + AMT pelvis alignment gets lasting results when nothing else they’ve tried has worked.


I had been living with chronic hip pain for five to seven years; as a result last winter I contracted sciatica. I consulted physiotherapists, a chiropractor, osteopath, massage therapist and an acupuncturist, but nothing even came close to the results I received from the Bowen therapist. From the first visit, I finally felt the relief I had been searching for, all with the gentleness that Bowen Therapy and Applied Myoskeletal Therapy offers. I’m so grateful that the Bowen therapist has been able to help my hip and sciatica, and improve my overall quality of life. G.M., 2019

Slipped on Ice

A middle-aged client slipped and fell several times the previous winter. She walked stiffly, with “pain everywhere”. She’d pulled muscles in her back, legs, glutes, neck, and one shoulder. The result was a locked sacroiliac joint and a single (one-side) forward pelvic rotation that caused a long leg on that side. In one session her sacroiliac joint released, her pelvis realigned, and leg lengths became even. More sessions were needed to treat her upper back, shoulder, and neck muscles.

Skating Accident

A woman in her 20s broke her right ankle and had surgery. Three years later she presented with lower back pain. The pelvis dysfunction was complex. Her right iliac crest was high together with a right-side pelvic rotation, which caused painful pressure on lumbar nerves and created a functional leg length discrepancy. The left leg hamstrings and gracilis muscles were hypertonic. As well, there was significant residual muscle tension in the left (unbroken and untreated) ankle and lateral calf from the accident. Thanks to the combo of Bowen Therapy and AMT, she walked out of the clinic pain-free and aligned at the end of her first session. It’s never too late to heal from an accident!

Local Practitioners with Pelvis & Lumbar Spine Training

Consult one of the AMT-trained Bowen Therapy practitioners with business cards on this page.

For a list of Bowen Therapy practitioners in the Ottawa-Gatineau Region, see the pinned post at

Category: Articles, Health & Natural Therapies

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