Sciatica vs Piriformis Syndrome
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 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.