What is Sciatica
Sciatica is a type of pain that stems fromthe irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nervein the human body running from the spinal cord through the buttocks and down each legany right below the knee. Common symptoms are leg pain tingling andnumbness in the leg and feet, and pain throughout the lower back and buttocks. To diagnose a physician will conduct thoroughphysical exam of the patient to asses' tenderness over certain areas of the spine along withthe monitoring mobility of lower extremities as well as doing the neurological examination.There are several treatment options for sciatica.
Natural types of therapy like exercise, physicaltherapy, massage, a balanced nutritious diet and rest have found the aid in the relieffrom sciatica. For patients with more severe cases of sciaticainterventional types of treatment can be explored. These include epidural steroid injectionsas well as potential trigger point injections. Techniques like biofeedback and spinal cordstimulation have also been effective to decrease patient's symptoms.
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.