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Do I Have Sciatica?

You have probably heard the term sciatica, and have probably thrown it around without having a true understanding of what it is and what is actually causing the symptoms you are experiencing.

What is True Sciatica?

True sciatica is actually an anatomical anomaly where the sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis (small muscle in the buttock). When the piriformis gets aggravated it also aggravates the sciatic nerve, which causes the symptoms you may have experienced such as, pain that goes down the leg to your feet, or numbness and tingling in your leg. This anatomical anomaly is quite rare. Therefore, most people who complain of sciatica do not have true sciatica.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica:

  • Pain in buttock
  • Pain that radiates down the leg
  • Numbness/tingling/burning in buttock and down leg
  • Tenderness to the deep gluteus muscles
  • Constant pain that may originate in the low back, but travels down the back of the buttock and thigh
  • Pain that feels better when lying down or walking, but worsens with sitting

Quick Ways to Relieve Sciatica:

  1. Alternating heat and ice to the low back and buttock area can provide some relief. Try 10 minutes on, 30 minutes off when alternating.
  2. Positioning yourself to relax your piriformis muscle can also provide some relief. A simple position to try is lying faced down with a pillow under your hips.
  3. Stretch your hips, back and legs. Doing exercises to gently stretch your low back, open your hips, and stretch your hamstrings can provide relief as well.

While these things can provide some pain relief, getting properly diagnosed by a physical therapist is the best way to treat this condition. At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center our therapists will do an evaluation to determine the exact origin of your symptoms. Seeing a physical therapist sooner, rather than later means faster recovery and less potential damage that can occur to the spinal joints and nerves.

By: Jason Makoutz, DPT

If you think you are suffering from sciatica or are feeling any type of pain call LSTC TODAY, at 703-450-4300, to get scheduled for an evaluation.

 CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can help you.


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