Sciatica or Piriformis

Are you experiencing pain that travels down the leg?

Pain in the buttocks or Low back?

Think you have Sciatica but not sure what’s the best thing to do about it?

First thing you need to know is are you experiencing Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome. Both conditions have very similar symptoms from a dull ache in the low back or buttocks to raging pain that travels down the leg and in severe cases under the foot.

Sciatica is a painful condition where the Sciatic Nerve is being pinched, irritated or squashed from a spinal injury such as Prolapsed disc ( commonly called a slipped disc), Stenosis ( narrowning of the spine where the nerves exit), Disc degeneration(reduction in quality and strength of the disc), fractures or Trauma of some kind and will usually show some irregular pathology on a scan confirming the nerve is trapped.

Piriformis Syndrome is a muscular problem where the Main hip rotator called the Piriformis has tightened up or shortened. The issue here is that the Sciatic nerve runs directly behind the Piriformis and can be easily irritated by the shortened muscle causing the same pain as in Sciatica. There is a small percentage of the population who are unlucky enough to have their Sciatic nerve run right through the Piriformis muscle meaning it does not take much to irritate it.

To recover from both conditions quickly and fully you need to have an assessment to determine the cause of the irritation. Once the cause is confirmed then a personal programme should be designed depending on the results especially for Sciatica as some exercises will help one condition like prolapsed disc but worsen Stenosis so it is important to ensure you are doing the correct exercises for your diagnosis.