Sciatica vs Piriformis Syndrome



herniated disc

Sciatica is a term more often than not is self-diagnosed. I often hear patients tell me they have sciatica and they point to their gluteal region, and when I ask, “When were you diagnosed by a doctor with Sciatica?” A lot of times, the patient will say I wasn’t, I just know. So let’s discuss Sciatica and what it is. Sciatica is caused by inflammation around the sciatic nerve, the source of this inflammation can be low back pain, including a bulge in the (lumbar spine) L4-L5 vertebrae putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, also known as impingement. What are some signs and symptoms of sciatica? Radiating leg pain greater than back pain increased pain with sitting, leaning forward, coughing or sneezing. If you have these symptoms, see your primary physician.

Piriformis Syndrome

muscular entrapment

Piriformis syndrome is referring to a muscular entrapment of the sciatic nerve from the Piriformis muscle located in the buttock region. The signs and symptoms can be similar, however, Piriformis Syndrome will be present in low back pain, buttock pain, hip pain, and  posterior thigh pain (back of your thigh). Pain is also aggravated by prolonged sitting. There is a close proximity in both Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome symptoms, if indeed you are feeling more leg pain than back pain, it may not be Piriformis Syndrome. Once you have seen a doctor and have ruled out Sciatica, it’s a good thing. Muscular work can be relieved through strategically working the soft tissue entrapping the Sciatic nerve.


Posted on September 7, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Can one have both? I did an MRI and I have a herniates disc on between l5ls1. I do ehperience lower pack pain, pain in the bottom , hips and on the front as well as feeling numbness, tingling all the way down to my last tree fingers on my left leg and shooting pain that radiates down the leg. There are good days and bad days and I found that if I don’t exercise for a day or two the pain becomes worst. Sitting, standing and walking, specially longer walks makes it worst, and I often wake up with pain. In sum, I am always in pain, and nothing I do gets the pain away completely, except for once I took a cold pill with a bit of codeine and that seemed to work. But I want to stay away from medication as I’ve read codeine and similar are highly addictive. Gosh I am only in my late 30’s I don’t know how will I manage to survive throug this much pain till old age. When I was a kid only back pain was reserved for old people. Any tips for me?

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