Are you suffering with pain in the bottom? Are you wondering if your bottom pain is originating from Piriformis syndrome or from Sciatica?
Piriformis muscle and Sciatic nerve are both very closely related structures and thus Piriformis syndrome and Sciatica are often mistaken for each other.
Watch this video for a simple description of the piriformis muscle and the sciatic nerve.
Both these conditions can cause similar symptoms. However, Piriformis syndrome occurs due to spasm, tightness or inflammation of the piriformis muscle, located deep in the buttock. Piriformis syndrome may or may not cause compression of the sciatic nerve, leading to symptoms of sciatica.
Some of the causes of Piriformis syndrome are:
- Trauma to the buttock areas such as biking accident or falls or sports injuries
- Sitting with a thick wallet under one side of the bottom.
- Gradual tightening of the piriformis muscle due to poor muscle fitness
- Activities such as long distance running.
- Poor postures such as slouched sitting.
- Prolonged standing without proper stretching of the piriformis muscle
Piriformis Syndrome can manifest as:
- Pain, deep inside the buttocks area, with or without pain in the SI joint.
- Reduced range of the hip joint
- A dull ache in the buttock when walking up the stairs or incline.
- Increase in pain after prolonged sitting, squatting, walking or running
- Decrease in pain after stretches and lying down on the back.
On the other hand, sciatica is compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve anywhere along its course from the lumbar spine to the legs. Though Piriformis syndrome can lead to sciatica, it can also be the result of spinal dysfunction such as herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
Some of the causes of sciatica are:
- Lumbar disc prolapse
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Lumbar spondylolisthesis
- Piriformis syndrome
- Osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine
- Vertebral fracture in the lumbar spine
Sciatica can manifest as:
- Tingling, numbness, burning, pain or discomfort anywhere from the buttocks down into the back of the legs right up to your toes.
- Weakness in the affected leg
- Associated back pain, depending on the cause of the sciatica
- When severe, sciatica can lead to bladder or bowel changes
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