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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction and Piriformis Syndrome [Book Review]

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction and Piriformis Syndrome

by Paula Clayton

Lotus Publishing/North Atlantic Books, 2016.

ISBN 978-1-905367-64-1. View on Amazon

RRP: £18.99


Dan Buchanan BSc BTEC(5) SRMT, MSMA

Target audience

All manual therapists (physiotherapists, sports therapists, sport rehabilitators, osteopaths, chiropractors, soft tissue therapists, bodyworkers). It lends itself particularly well to those working and aspiring to work with elite athletes as this is the context from which Paula has formulated this book. It makes a complicated subject simple and enables the reader to fully understand the influence of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) and its effects upon the neuromyofascial matrix in sporting performance as well as the regular activities of daily living.


Over 20 years of experience and expertise have been distilled down into an excellent comprehensive and concise reference book on a crucial area of the body. A must read for all practitioners, whether newly qualified or highly experienced.

Main contents

The book is divided into seven chapters. The main meat of the book is built around the assessment and treatment of sacroiliac joint dysfunction and piriformis syndrome. This is backed up by thorough up-to-date chapters on fascia, dry needling, dynamic taping, and a useful appendix covering the theory and practice of instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilisation (IASTM).

Key features/strengths and weaknesses


This book is very well structured and easy to use as a reference. Concepts are easy to understand and there are excellent photos and illustrations throughout. There is lots of underpinning knowledge regarding anatomy/physiology and pathology of the SIJ and piriformis – it’s not just a book of treatment tips and tricks. This level of background knowledge enables the practitioner to assess more thoroughly and apply treatment techniques much more effectively. It feels much like having Paula with you in your clinical environment. For those who work alone or haven’t had an opportunity to work in an elite multidisciplinary team this is a brilliant thing.


It is possible that more experienced practitioners might quickly scan through this book and think that they have seen lots of the assessment and treatment techniques before. Personally, as an experienced sport rehabilitator and now soft tissue therapist, there were lots of useful assessment and treatment ideas that I benefited from.

Book style

Much like Paula’s teaching style this book is relaxed and informative. It is very easy to dip in and out of. There are excellent photos of hands-on techniques with the structural anatomy underneath, extra information boxes and detailed anatomy boxes for the relevant muscles and structures acting on and around the hip and pelvis. It would work very well as a teaching/CPD resource for medical departments, colleges and universities.

Interactive extras (are there any and if so what are they)?

There are no interactive extras but the book is written and presented in a fresh and modern style.

Your overall opinion

I would highly recommend this book to all manual therapists. Working in a similar field, I have looked up to Paula over the years and followed her career. Three years ago I attended one of her weekend hip and pelvis masterclasses and was impressed that as well as being an excellent practitioner she was a fantastic teacher too. It does not surprise me that she has gone on to write a book on this – her specialist subject.

Recently I went to hear Sir Clive Woodward speak on what makes a champion. He made two great points:

  1. Champions share their ideas with others.
  2. To become a champion at something, imagine you are writing a book on what it is you do. Work out the chapters and then start gathering information, sharing it with your peers, put it into practice and learn from your experiences.

When asked to review this book this advice immediately came to mind. Paula Clayton has been a champion performance therapist for over 20 years working at a highly elite level; the fact that she is willing to share her experience and expertise in the pages of this excellent reference book is an opportunity not to be missed.

Which of the following would you deem it?

  • A ‘Must have’ item
  • A ‘Nice to have’ item
  • Useful but not essential
  • Not essential
  • Don’t bother