Sciatica Differences Between Lumbar Disc and Piriformis Syndrome Diagnoses Error
Piriformis syndrome is another one of thoseconditions that can cause pain shooting down the leg that people refer to as sciatica.Sciatica is just a general term for radiating pain. It doesn't tell us where the injuriesoccurred at. Two common ones that get mixed up are lumbardisc sprain or disc injury that's having that jelly jerked back by the nerve root or thepiriformis muscle where it grabs onto that sciatic nerve. The testing is really prettyeasy to figure out which one you have. A lumbar disc is going to hurt right awaywhen I lift that leg. You're going to feel that sharp shooting or burning pain. It willbe worse when I pull that toe back. You won't
let me get the leg all the way up to herewith a disc injury. They'll just hurt too much. The second thing that's a big difference betweenthe two is if I take the leg and I turn it a disc problem isn't going to have thatshooting pain. You're not going to have any numbness, tingling or burning in that foot.But if I put a little bit of stretch and you start to feel those symptoms, that's goingto tell us more the piriformis muscle grabbing onto that sciatic nerve. I can relieve thatpain by letting the foot go a little bit, take the tension off the muscle and then turnit again and the pain will reappear.
This is one of those signs that tell us thisis a piriformis injury that's grabbing onto that sciatic nerve and will probably don'tneed to go get and MRI to check that out because more likely than not it's not a disc injury,it's piriformis.
Piriformis Syndrome versus Sciatica Animation
Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular conditionwhere the piriformis muscle one of the deep gluteal muscles presses on and compressesthe sciatic nerve causing pain, tingling and numbness in the buttock area and down thepath of sciatic nerve to the thigh and leg. Sciatic nerve runs UNDER the piriformis muscleand may be irritated when the muscle is too tight or shortened due to spasms. Piriformissyndrome is to be differentiated from sciatica which shows similar symptoms but has differentcauses. Diagnosis is commonly done by EXCLUSION ofsciatica. Because sciatica usually associates with compression of sciatic nerve roots bya herniated disc, sciatic symptoms in the
ABSENCE of spinal disc herniation are indicativeof piriformis syndrome. Causes and risk factors of piriformis syndromeinclude: Anatomical abnormality of the nervemusclerelation. Some people are more likely to get piriformis syndrome than others. Tightness or spasm of the piriformis muscle due to overuse injury. This commonly happensin sport activities that put pressure on the piriformis muscle such as bicycling, runningwithout proper stretching, or any activity that involves repeated movements of the legsperformed in sitting position. Treatment options include: Stretching exercises, massage, avoidance
of causative activities. Antiinflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants for relief of symptoms. Physical therapy that strengthens the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and biceps femorisis usually recommended to reduce strain on the piriformis muscle.