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Can Sciatica Cause Hip Pain

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Inflammation Of The Sciatic Nervesciatica

Jul 8, 2015 |

Sciaticashooting pain down the back of one or both of your legsis generally caused by inflammation of your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body . It runs along each side of your lumbar spine all the way down to your feet. Any type of pressure or pinching on this nerve can cause sciatica, inflammation, and other symptoms.

What Causes Sciatica?The pressure or pinching on the sciatic nerve can be caused by a low back condition, such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or spinal stenosis.

Sciatica SymptomsSciatica can feel like electricity running down your leg, and it can also cause a tingling sensation and numbness. But besides the pain, there are many other symptoms of sciatica and not everyone who has sciatica will have exactly the same symptoms.

  • Lower back pain that radiates into one or both buttocks, thighs, calves and feet of one or both legs.
  • Pain and symptoms may be felt anywher along the sciatic nerves pathway.
  • Pain may be described as mild, dull, achy, sharp, electric-like jolt.
  • Sneezing can increase the pain.
  • Sensations may include numbness and/or tingling.
  • Extremity weakness such as in the leg.

Diagnosing Sciatica To help diagnose sciatica, your doctor will ask you several questions about your symptoms. He or she will want to know things such as when your pain started and if anything reduces your pain or makes it worse.

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What Is Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome has traditionally been described as a referred neural pain in the posterior hip and leg caused by hypertrophy or spasm of the piriformis. The pain is caused by pressure applied to the sciatic nerve by the piriformis due to the passage of the nerve through or under the muscle .

Pain associated with this problem often mimics the signs and symptoms of lumbar nerve root compression or sciatica in the buttock and posterior leg. The client will often report sciatica-type symptoms and experience tenderness in the piriformis fossa. Pain when sitting is common, as is pain with hip flexion, adduction, and internal rotation.

What Is The Connection Between Sciatica And Hip Pain

Sciatica pain starts in the lower back and runs past hip muscles.

and hip pain are often associated with each other because the sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down each leg, which means the nerve passes near muscles that are connected to the hip. Very often, muscles in the hip that get tight or strained can cause compression on the sciatic nerve, which can lead to sciatica. Sciatica is a painful sensation often a shooting pain that can run anywhere from the lower back all the way down the back of the legs due to compression on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can, therefore, also cause hip pain.

Sciatica pain is often caused by a herniated disc compressing on the sciatic nerve.

While closely connected, sciatica and hip pain do not always come together. Hip injuries and muscle strains are possible without causing sciatica, and sciatica can certainly be felt in other places besides the hips. This nerve pain is common in the lower back, buttocks, thighs, the back of the knees, and calves, even sometimes as far down as the ankles. Even if the pain is not felt in the hip, however, it may be a hip muscle causing the problem; such pain is often felt in other places than where the nerve is actually being pinched.

If the sciatic nerve becomes irritated, it can cause pain and numbness down the leg. A physical therapist can help treat hip pain caused by sciatica.

How We Treat Peripheral Neuropathy

Again, most people have been to their medical doctor already, and sometimes to a neurologist.

Depending on your care, you may be uncertain at this point whether you have sciatica or peripheral neuropathy or another condition.

Some patients have been given an EMG or a nerve test. Some have been told nothing can be done. Many have tried various medications with varying degrees of success, but all have unwanted side effects.

Peripheral neuropathy patients come to us for an alternative to strong drugs with side effects. They are looking to get to the cause of the problem and not cover it up with meds.

To do that we may use one or more of the following:

  • Super pulsed laser This type of laser produces nitric oxide, which boosts circulation.
  • Seated vibration Patients sit with their feet on a vibrating platform. The vibration increases blood flow to the feet and toes.
  • Standing vibration This treatment improves circulation and balance.
  • Rebuilder therapy Patients wear a conductive garment that looks like a sock. The garment conducts specialized electrical signals over the feet and toe, helping heal damaged nerve endings.
  • Massage Massage increases circulation and blood flow to the feet and toes.
  • Custom-made orthotics Orthotics help if foot bio-mechanics cause pain and also improve balance.
  • Diet and nutrition Eating better decreases inflammation, controls blood sugar, increases circulation, and also heals nerve tissue.

Lumbar Spine And Other Articular Structures

Awesome Quotes: How to To Get Rid Of Sciatica, Hip And ...

The lumbar spine is a common source of posterior thigh pain. Pain may be referred from a number of structures such as discs, facet joints, muscles, ligaments, nerve roots. A detailed examination including a thorough neurological screen is vital, and imaging may help with this. However, caution is advised as pre-existing changes may be present. Nerve root compression will usually provide a much more definitive presentation. One must always consider red flags; cauda equina identification is vital to allow appropriate and timely management. Spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis have both been associated with hamstring pain and tightness and should be excluded in recurrent/recalcitrant presentations.

The sacroiliac joint often refers pain to the buttocks and high hamstring region; 94% of SIJ dysfunction cases report buttock pain.  SIJ provocation tests can be used to highlight the involvement of the SIJ. Anterior hip impingement can present with groin pain, lateral hip/thigh pain and buttock pain. A negative FAIR/FABER test is commonly used to rule out significant FAI and/or labral pathology.

Is Surgery Necessary For Sciatica

If, despite doing everything one is instructed to do, the pain continues and the CT or MRI shows a problem with the disc or bone, back surgery may be recommended. Back surgery is generally performed for patients who have tried all other methods of treatment first. There are exceptions to this, such as people with ongoing nerve damage or cauda equina syndrome.

Is It Sciatica Or Peripheral Neuropathy What You Need To Know

The symptoms of sciatica or peripheral neuropathy are easy to confuse. Both conditions cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the legs and feet. The impact on your strength and balance may also make falls more likely.

The conditions are very different, however. Read on to learn more and find out how chiropractic care can help.

Diagnosis Of Nerve Pain

Our  are experts at detecting nerve injury, irritation or compression because we spend many hours a day working on it. Allow us to say we just have the feeling for it.

We will test the movement or your nerve by evaluating how your nerve reacts under tension and if it is able to slide like it should. Our Physios palpate along your nerves pathway to test each of the possible points where your nerve can be pinched. We perform a series of tests to get a clear picture of what we are dealing with. This allows us to treat you optimally, give you the right exercises and the right advice for your problem.  We dont just want you to get better we want you to stay better.

Sciatica is caused by compression or irritation of the nerves coming from different areas op the spine L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3. Each level will have different symptoms and your knows how to test each specific level.

Factors That Differentiate Sciatica From Hamstring Or Other Causes Of Posterior Thigh Pain

Michael Lancaster discusses potential diagnoses in cases presenting with rear thigh pain, and how to sleuth out the cause.

2018 Bayern Munichs David Alaba receives treatment to posterior thigh from medical staff. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

Posterior thigh pain provides a great challenge to sports physiotherapists around the world, with the most common cause being hamstring strains. However, there are a number of structures that cause pain both locally or referred. Identification of the pain source allows the practitioner to effectively manage the return to sport. Ultimately one must ascertain if the injury to the posterior thigh is an acute muscle injury or referred pain from another source. An understanding of the relevant anatomy of the posterior thigh, sacroiliac joint, and lumbar spine is therefore essential for effective diagnosis.

Preventing Sciatic Nerve Pain

While sciatica may not be completely avoidable, there are certain ways to protect your back from recurring pain: 

  • Regular Exercise: Keeping your back strong and paying attention to core strength in the abdomen and lower back are essential for proper alignment. 
  • Maintain Good Posture When You Sit: Sitting with lower back support, armrests, and a swivel base help your posture. Keep you knees and hips level, and consider adding a small pillow in the small of your back to maintain its normal curve. 
  • Be Mindful of Good Body Mechanics: Be mindful of your body while doing regular daily activities and if you do physical labor for work. If you stand for a long time, alternate propping your feet up on a small box from time to time. When lifting something heavy, use your knees instead of relying on your back keep your back straight and bend at the knees. Get help lifting large items so you dont stress your muscles or joints. 

What Happens When The Nerve Is Injured

When you have a pinched nerve, the nerves ability to handle different conditions, movements and positions will change. There will be pressure on the nerves blood supply and the neurons wont get enough energy or oxygen. This causes swelling and inflammation of the nerve which causes a chemical irritation around the nerve and increases its sensitivity.

If sensitivity increases, the threshold where the nerve fires is lowered and what the brain interprets as pain changes. In this case something like normal pressure from sitting on a chair, a gentle stretch or mild heat will cause pain.

Branches of the Sciatic nerve that can cause hip pain

There are branches of the Sciatic nerve which, when injured, can cause hip and buttock pain. The symptoms are similar to sciatica & hip pain, but the site where the nerve is pinched is different. Instead of pressure over the bulk of the nerve, smaller branches that split off the main Sciatic branch cause nerve pain to stay concentrated over your hip.

Nerve symptoms from entrapment of any of these t nerve branches can be confused with sciatica hip pain, but with neurological testing your physiotherapist can give you a more accurate diagnosis.

Sciatica Symptoms Or Something Else

Sciatica isnt the only reason for pain in the legs, ofcourse. Other conditions can mimic sciatica:

  • Vascular disease: Narrowing of the bloodvessels in the legs can cause pain and cramps and might make it hard to walk.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Small nerves inthe legs can become damaged, causing burning, pain, tingling or numbness in thefoot or lower leg. This type of nerve damage is often related to diabetes,alcohol use disorder or other medical conditions.
  • Peroneal neuropathy: An injury to the peroneal nerve below the knee can cause weakness and make it hard to lift the foot.

How can you tell if youre dealing with sciatica orsomething else? Sciatica tends to affect the length of the leg, not just thefoot. And most often, that pain radiates downward from top to bottom, Dr.Thomas says.

Another clue: Sciatica usually strikes just one side. If you have pain in both legs, it is less likely a disc herniation, but more likely due to degenerative changes like spinal stenosis, he says.

When Should I See The Doctor

Pin on Unlock Hip Flexor Guide

If the pain is too uncomfortable or has lasted for more than a couple days, its time to see your doctor. In addition to talking with your doctor, you may want to try working with a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or massage therapist. According to recent recommendations from the American College of Physicians , methods such as massage, acupuncture, heat, or spinal manipulation should be used before medication for low back pain.

A physical therapist may also help. Physical therapists can teach you exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles around the pinched nerve.

In general, pinched nerves resolve on their own within a few days or weeks. You may be able improve the recovery process with home treatments, such as:

  • ice and heat
  • over-the-counter pain medications
  • rest

If symptoms do not improve with treatment, or if you think theyre getting worse, talk to your doctor.

Proven Ways To Relieve Buttock Pain

Gluteal regionOther Back Problems

We usually give less attention to our buttocks simply because they are at our back. But youll remember your buttocks in times when they start hurting you. So, its advisable to understand what could inflict pains on the buttock as well as what could relieve buttock pain. 

Buttock pain can occur in any person. It can manifest as sprang of shocking waves, numbness, or as pressure on the buttocks. In a case of minor injuries, buttock pains may occur and then disappear quickly. Sometimes, it can occur like sciatica pains, where youll experience the pains periodically or as you provoke them.

When Is Surgery Considered

Spinal surgery is usually not recommended unless you have not improved with other treatment methods such as stretching and medication, your pain is worsening, you have severe weakness in the muscles in your lower extremities or you have lost bladder or bowel control.

How soon surgery would be considered depends on the cause of your sciatica. Surgery is typically considered within a year of ongoing symptoms. Pain that is severe and unrelenting and is preventing you from standing or working and youve been admitted to a hospital would require more aggressive treatment and a shorter timeline to surgery. Loss of bladder or bowel control could require emergency surgery if determined to be cauda equine syndrome.

The goal of spinal surgery for sciatic pain is to remove the pressure on the nerves that are being pinched and to make sure the spine is stable.

Surgical options to relieve sciatica include:

Microdiscectomy: This is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove fragments of a herniated disk that are pressing on a nerve.

  • : In this procedure, the lamina that is causing pressure on the sciatic nerve is removed.

Sciatica Symptoms Or Something Else

Sciatica isnt the only reason for pain in the legs, ofcourse. Other conditions can mimic sciatica:

  • Vascular disease: Narrowing of the bloodvessels in the legs can cause pain and cramps and might make it hard to walk.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Small nerves inthe legs can become damaged, causing burning, pain, tingling or numbness in thefoot or lower leg. This type of nerve damage is often related to diabetes,alcohol use disorder or other medical conditions.
  • Peroneal neuropathy: An injury to the peroneal nerve below the knee can cause weakness and make it hard to lift the foot.

How can you tell if youre dealing with sciatica orsomething else? Sciatica tends to affect the length of the leg, not just thefoot. And most often, that pain radiates downward from top to bottom, Dr.Thomas says.

Another clue: Sciatica usually strikes just one side. If you have pain in both legs, it is less likely a disc herniation, but more likely due to degenerative changes like spinal stenosis, he says.

Causes Of Piriformis Syndrome

Your anatomy may be behind your piriformis syndrome. This is known as primary piriformis syndrome and occurs when you have a split piriformis muscle, split sciatic nerve, and/or an atypical sciatic nerve path.

Secondary piriformis syndrome is far more common and is caused inflammation of soft tissues, muscle spasm or both, resulting in nerve compression. Direct trauma to the buttock can lead to inflammation, scarring and contractures of the piriformis muscle

This might be the result of a major event like a car accident or a fall. However, the most common cause is likely the gradual tightening of the piriformis muscle due to poor muscle fitness. Activities, such as long distance running or prolonged standing without proper stretching and strengthening of piriformis muscle is a common scenario in patients with piriformis syndrome . 

Other Treatments For Sciatica

If your pain is very bad and treatments from a GP have not helped, they may refer you to a hospital specialist for:

  • painkilling injections
  • a procedure to seal off some of the nerves in your back so they stop sending pain signals
  • surgery an operation called decompression surgery can sometimes help relieve sciatica

Best Exercises For Sciatica Hip Pain

There are various treatments for sciatica conditions, including the use of prescribed and over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. Use of hot and cold compresses and alternative therapies of acupuncture and ultrasound may also relieve symptoms.

We have outlined four common exercises for sciatica hip pain. The hips have trigger points to target pain and offer relief. You can do this using tennis balls, foam rollers, and tubes.

Can Sciatica Be Serious

In some cases, sciatica may be cause for concern and medical emergency. For example, suppose youre experiencing loss of feeling in the leg in which youve been experiencing pain, weakness in the affected leg, or loss of bladder or bowel function. In that case, you should seek immediate medical attention. 

There are a few medical emergencies that can occur that may give off sciatica-like symptoms, including: 

  • Spinal cord compression or infection 
  • Tumors
  • Kidney damage and pain 
  • Permanent nerve damage

Because there are potential issues that can arise because of sciatica or similar to sciatica, you should always seek medical attention when you have pain that lasts longer than a week. 

Lumbar Spinal Canal Stenosis

Sciatica: "Pain is shooting down my leg!"

Stenosis means narrowing, and lumbar spinal canal stenosis is narrowing of the space available for nerves in the lumbar spine. Narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal can put pressure on the nerves, which may cause back pain, pain down the sciatic nerve, numbness and weakness of the legs.

If you have lumbar spinal canal stenosis you may have no symptoms. Or you may have low back pain that radiates to the buttocks and legs, or just leg pain. The pain often occurs when you stand or walk. Spinal stenosis tends to affect older people rather than younger people.

Find Professional Care At Orthobethesda

When it comes to diagnosing and treating pain like sciatica, the highly skilled team at OrthoBethesda is ready to help. We pride ourselves on our years of experience and our exceptional patient care. We make sure you understand why your body is expressing pain and help you learn how to best alleviate it, so you can live your life to the fullest.

If you live in Bethesda, Arlington or anywhere in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, let OrthoBethesda help you live a pain-free life. To schedule an appointment, please contact us by calling .

How To Tell The Difference

If you have leg pain without significant back pain, it can be hard to tell if the problem is your back or your hip. Vinita Mathew, MD, FAAPMR, is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at . Here, Dr. Mathew explains what to look for and what to expect if you see your physician for leg pain. 

What Are Some Less Common Causes Of Sciatica

Some lesser-known causes of sciatica can include:

  • Endometriosis, a growing of uterine tissue outside of the uterus that can accumulate in areas that surround the sciatic nerve or the sciatic nerve itself
  • Infection in the spine or spinal column that causes an to form and press on the sciatic nerve or damage to the nerve itself
  • Nerve damage from diabetes
  • Shifting or growing of a fetus during pregnancy that can result in nerve compression
  • Side effects from medications

Another common source of traumatic injury is direct damage to the peroneal nerve, says Dr. Subach. This often results from a knee dislocation or lower leg fracture and may present as numbness in the back of the calf or weakness in the ankle when pointing the toes toward the shin. Infrequently, it may occur in a post-operative knee or hip replacement patient. Ruling out a spinal cause in such cases is imperative.

Physiotherapy Treatment For Sciatica & Hip Pain

for sciatica hip pain will depend on your symptoms and goals of treatment.

If you have an acute injury, for instance after a fall on your buttocks, we would use modalities like and to help with swelling and support the healing process.  We might also use or dry needling and soft tissue massage to relieve muscle spasm in the painful area.  Strapping with kinesiology tape or rigid taping is useful for pain relief and when we start with strengthening exercises.

If your injury had a more gradual onset we will need to eliminate aggravating factors first. This could be anything from changing how you sit when you work on your computer to the position you sleep in.

How often you come for treatment will depend on how your pain started. If you had an acute injury we will need to see you twice a week for pain relief and once a week after that for rehabilitation. You will need 4 to 6 treatments over a period of 6-8 weeks.

For sciatica hip pain that developed over a period of time we will also see you twice a week, initially, but your rehabilitation might take up to 12 weeks. When your pain settles we will see you once a week. As pain the goals of treatment move towards rehabilitation, rather than pain relief, we will see you every second week to check on your progress and change your exercises.

Sciatica Groin Pain Symptoms

The symptoms of groin pain and sciatica can mimic any other back and leg pain condition, with the addition of pain in the muscles or sexual organs of the groin. For men, this can mean inner thigh pain, lower abdominal pain, anal pain, testicular pain or discomfort in the penis. For women, this can mean inner thigh pain, anal pain, lower abdominal pain, vulva pain or vaginal pain.

These symptoms combined with the usual sciatica complaints of pain, , and in the legs and/or feet can make life a truly harrowing experience indeed.

Hip Pain When Sitting: Causes Treatment And Stretches

Hip pain when sitting can range from mild to severe discomfort. The hip joint can also feel stiff or burst while sitting. Illnesses, injuries and incorrect posture can cause hip pain when sitting.

A person may feel pain in one or both hips while sitting.

This article discusses the importance of hip pain, possible causes, treatment options, and diagnosis.

It also examines home remedies and stretches, as well as prospects and when to see a doctor.

A person may have hip pain in the joint or in the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and tendons that surround it.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, the hip is one of the largest weight-bearing joints in the body. This is where the femur meets the pelvis to form a ball-and-socket socket.

The hip joint consists of two main parts the femoral head and the acetabulum.

The femoral head is a spherical bone at the top of the thigh bone. It sits in the hip socket, a pan in the pelvis.

The following muscles surround the hip:

  • Glutes, these are the gluteal muscles
  • Adductor muscles, which are the muscles of the inner thigh
  • iliopsoas muscle that starts in the lower back
  • Quadriceps, which are four muscles in the front of the thigh
  • Hamstrings, which are the muscles on the back of the thigh

Important nerves such as the sciatic nerve and blood vessels also surround the hip.

Hip pain that occurs on the outside of the hips, buttocks, and thighs can be caused by damage or injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Learn more about outer hip pain here.

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