Pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve can lead to discomfort in the lower back, hip, leg, and buttocks. This large nerve runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When something injures or pressures the sciatic nerve, it can cause anything from a dull, nagging ache to severe and shooting pains. Sciatica or piriformis syndrome (the medical term) can usually be alleviated by starting a regular exercise and stretching routine with a physical therapist.
The majority of the time the pain indicators are on a single side but might affect both sides of the body in some situations. In the event the pain is bilateral or on either side, there can be different central structures involved like the brain stem or cerebellum. For instance, you may have sciatica due to a herniated disc. Mechanical low back pain is one of the most common patient complaints given to ER physicians in the US, accounting for at least 6 million cases annually.
It can often be challenging to treat piriformis syndrome because the piriformis muscle is found deep within the rear of the hip joint. Depending on the severity of your pain or discomfort, a more intensive or alternative physical therapy program may be needed to address more severe cases of the condition, but either way, you should visit a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.
Spinal disc herniation accounts for a significant amount of cases of piriformis syndrome, but the majority of instances are likely related to muscle issues. Using anti-inflammatory and pain medication can help for immediate discomfort, but they are rarely a long-term solution. Treatments like heat therapy, ice therapy, and acupuncture can help, but the best way for lasting relief is starting an exercise and stretching regimen with a physical therapist.
Call On the Mend Physical Therapy today for a free consultation and diagnosis. We’ll get you back to feeling like your best self again!