Sciatica is a dysfunction resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica pain is typically felt from the low back to behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and begins from nerve roots L4 – S3 in the lumbar spinal cord in the low back and extends through the buttock area to send nerve endings down the lower limb.

While sciatica is most commonly referred to as a result of a disc herniation directly pressing on the nerve, any cause of irritation or inflammation of this nerve can reproduce the symptoms of sciatica. These could include irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone, tumors, muscle, infections, injury, and other causes.

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Pseudo Sciatica and Gluteal Pain

Pseudo, or false, Sciatica and Gluteal Pain would include trigger points that have a pain referral zone which follows the sciatic nerve entirely or partially all the way from the glutes, down the leg, and into the ankle; i.e. activities that stress gluteus minimus can activate the trigger points and clients will have the exact symptoms that are associated with true sciatica. Referred pain from arthritis or other joint problems that may cause leg pain (which feels like sciatica) is another cause and this may actually be more common than true sciatica.

Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome is condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve and causes pain in the gluteal region and along the posterior aspect of the thigh and crus and into the foot – mimicking true sciatica. The sciatic nerve can become entrapped between the piriformis muscle and the superior gemellus, or be compressed by the piriformis muscle as the nerve runs through the muscle. This condition is more common in women than men especially those who are active (runners/walkers).

Hip Crepitus

Hip Crepitus is popping and clicking sounds near the hip joint. There are two major kinds of hip crepitus. One takes place at the greater trochanter (outside pop) as the Tensor Fascia Latae, Gluteus Maximus, and IT band blend together and are so tight that it causes the muscles to flip over the greater trochanter causing a popping or clicking noise. The other is at the lesser trochanter (inside pop) where Iliopsoas inserts. Besides the noise of popping one could experience clicking or a grinding sensation in the hip. Hip pain and inflammation are often associated with this as well. Our massage therapy techniques can be helpful in decreasing or eliminating the symptoms through elongating the muscles and fascia that are too tight.

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