Did you know the difference between the two?
I am a Fitness Trainer who believes in preventative body care. There are many Exercise Programs, in my opinion, that cause a lot of preventable injuries. Clients trust in us to not only provide Results, but also to add years on to their life. Many Trainers will get caught up in just providing the Results, and not thinking about how you will feel in your 70-90's.
When you speak to your doctor, determining which of these symptoms sound like what you are experiencing, this may save you money and time.
Sciatica Nerve Pain often characterized by one or a combination of the following symptoms:
- Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely can occur in both legs)
- Pain that is worse when sitting
- Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling or searing (vs. a dull ache)
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk
Some of Sciatica Nerve Pain or Piriformis Syndrome have also been determined by Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
The sacroiliac joint lies next to the bottom of the spine, below the lumbar spine and above the tailbone (coccyx). It connects the sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine) with the pelvis (iliac crest) as shown in the picture above.
It is thought that an alteration in the normal joint motion may be the culprit that causes sacroiliac pain. This source of pain can be caused by either:
- Too much movement (hypermobility or instability): The pain is typically felt in the lower back and/or hip and may radiate into groin area.
- Too little movement (hypomobility or fixation): The pain is typically felt on one side of the low back or buttocks, and can radiate down the leg. The pain usually remains above the knee, but at times pain can extend to the ankle or foot.
Sacroiliitis is also a term that is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and is inflammatory conditions of the spinal column.
Sacroiliitis vs. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction; both sacroiliitis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction are a common cause of sacroiliac pain, low back pain, and leg pain.
A wide range of factors may cause sacroiliitis:
- Any form of spondyloarthropathy, which includes ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis associated with psoriasis, and other rheumatologic diseases, such as lupus
- Degenerative arthritis, or osteoarthritis of the spine, causing degeneration of the sacroiliac joints and in turn leading to inflammation and SI joint pain
- A trauma that affects the lower back, hip or buttocks, such as a car accident or fall
- Pregnancy and childbirth, as a result of the pelvis widening and stretching the sacroiliac joints during childbirth
- Infection of the sacroiliac joint
- Urinary tract infection
Causes of Piriformis Syndrome
The exact causes of piriformis syndrome are unknown, suspected causes include:
- Muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle, either because of irritation in the piriformis muscle itself, or irritation of a nearby structure such as the sacroiliac joint or hip
- Tightening of the muscle, in response to injury or spasm
- Swelling of the piriformis muscle, due to injury or spasm
- Bleeding in the area of the piriformis muscle.
Sciatica Nerve Pain | Piriformis stretches
Two simple stretches include:
- Lie on the back with both feet flat on the floor and both knees bent. Pull the right knee up to the chest, grasp the knee with the left hand and pull it towards the left shoulder and hold the stretch. Repeat for each side.
- Lie on the back with both feet flat on the floor and both knees bent. Rest the ankle of the right leg over the knee of the left leg. Pull the left thigh toward the chest and hold the stretch. Repeat for each side.
Stretching the hamstrings (the large muscle along the back of each thigh) is important to alleviate any type of sciatic pain. There are a number of ways to stretch the hamstrings:
- Place two chairs facing each other. Sit on one chair and place the heel of one leg on the other chair. Lean forward, bending at the hips until a gentle stretch along the back of the thigh is felt, and hold the stretch.
- Lie on the back, pull one leg up and straighten by holding on to a towel that is wrapped behind the foot until a mild stretch along the back of the thigh is felt.
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