Why Would Someone Get Sciatica Symptoms In The Hip But Not The Leg
This is a good question and it generally comes down to the extent that the nerve root in the spine is compressed by a disc bulge or other structure.
The more the nerve root is compressed, the further down the leg the symptoms go.
Equally, the worse the compression, the more likely you are to experience pins and needles or numbness.
If a disc bulge is just irritating a nerve root and NOT fully compressing it, you might get sciatica symptoms in the hip and back but nothing in the legs.
Another reason for sciatica symptoms in the hip is the muscle tightness that occurs following a back injury. When we hurt our backs, everything locks up as the muscles go into overdrive to try and protect the area.
This means that the muscles can effectively go into spasm, which can be extremely painful. If this happens to your buttock muscles, then you can get pain similar to sciatica symptoms in the hips.
Most Common Causes Of Hip And Leg Pain
One of the most common causes of sciatic or radiating hip and leg pain is spinal disc pathology, which starts developing as early as age 25. This can include a herniated disc, disc bulge, or a narrowing in the spines disc space due to degeneration associated with trauma or overuse of the spine.
Some of the risk factors associated with hip pain radiating down the leg to the foot include older age, lack of exercise, excess weight, psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression, and smoking. All of these variables would increase the likelihood that someone would develop spinal pathology which can lead to hip and leg pain.
Large nerves exit and enter the vertebral column to transmit information to the spinal cord and brain about sensation such as sharp and dull touch, and to control movement, such as walking. These nerves are located very close to the discs and joints of the spine, so with enough stress to the surrounding structures, the space that contains the nerve becomes crowded and the nerve can become irritated and inflamed.
This can subsequently cause pain in the hip and leg, or cause other sensations such as numbness or pins and needles. It can also contribute to a feeling of weakness in the leg.
A less common cause of hip and leg pain is direct trauma to the buttock area. Several spinal nerves join together in the lower back to form the sciatic nerve, which is located in the back of the thigh and knee, and separates into smaller nerves in the lower leg.
How Is Sciatica Diagnosed
First, your healthcare provider will review your medical history. Next, theyll ask about your symptoms.
During your physical exam, you will be asked to walk so your healthcare provider can see how your spine carries your weight. You may be asked to walk on your toes and heels to check the strength of your calf muscles. Your provider may also do a straight leg raise test. For this test, youll lie on your back with your legs straight. Your provider will slowly raise each leg and note the point at which your pain begins. This test helps pinpoint the affected nerves and determines if there is a problem with one of your disks. You will also be asked to do other stretches and motions to pinpoint pain and check muscle flexibility and strength.
Depending on what your healthcare provider discovers during your physical exam, imaging and other tests might be done. These may include:
- Spinal X-rays to look for spinal fractures, disk problems, infections, tumors and bone spurs.
- Magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans to see detailed images of bone and soft tissues of the back. An MRI can show pressure on a nerve, disk herniation and any arthritic condition that might be pressing on a nerve. MRIs are usually ordered to confirm the diagnosis of sciatica.
- Nerve conduction velocity studies/electromyography to examine how well electrical impulses travel through the sciatic nerve and the response of muscles.
- Myelogram to determine if a vertebrae or disk is causing the pain.
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What Is The Connection Between Sciatica And Hip Pain
Sciatica 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.
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.
Distressing Symptoms Steady Decline
Formuch of his life, Tyler has had pain of one kind or another. As a youth, hepracticed martial arts for 15 years and sustained shoulder damage as a result.In the U.S. Marines, he suffered a knee injury that never quite healed. Despitethose lingering issues, though, Tyler exercised and hit the gym five days aweek.
Over time, Tyler also developed sciatica nerve pain throughout his right leg. Then in spring 2015, Tyler started falling at work a dangerous proposition for him because his position as an aerospace research and development technician occasionally had him walking on the wings of aircraft.
Tyler, who lives with his wife and three children in the small town of Aragon, Georgia, sought medical advice and had an MRI in an effort to diagnose the reason for the falls. He was told that the muscles in his right shin and ankle had atrophied, causing him to develop foot drop the inability to lift the front part of his foot.
That information didn’t fully explain all that was happening, however. So for nearly five years, Tyler visited the major medical centers within a half-day’s drive from his home seeking a more detailed explanation for his painful leg symptoms. He received several potential diagnoses, including the devastating neurodegenerative condition amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. But none of them ever truly fit his symptoms.
“My kids had gotten to the point where they wouldn’t ask me to do stuff with them because they knew it would hurt me.”
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How Does Sciatica Happen
Sciatica is a symptom of nerve pain which basically means there is injury, compression or irritation of the Sciatic branch of nerves.; This can cause Sciatic nerve pain;to be felt down into the hip area.
The bundle of nerve wires that run out the lower spine and sacrum come together to form a cable about as thick as your thumb. They converge at the back of the buttock just above the Piriformis muscle and run between the two hamstring heads. These are the two most common places where the Sciatic nerve gets pinched.
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.
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Stretch The Inner Thigh And Short Adductors
- Place the soles of your feet together in front of your pelvis when sitting on the ground.
- On the opposite hands, hold the ankles .
- Gently press forward with your feet, aiming to make contact with the ground. Stop just until you feel any discomfort, which means if you feel pain, back up an inch or two and stay there.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then release and flutter your legs in that position for another 30 seconds .
If you want to go for a longer stretch? Bend your body forward while holding your back straight or push your knees down with your elbows.
How Does Sciatica Cause Symptoms In The Hip
When we refer to the term sciatica, we usually mean pain in the leg that shoots all the way down from the buttock to the foot.
Sciatica often starts with back pain which then progresses to pain in the hip and leg but sometimes disc bulges and other problems can cause the pain to start and exist exclusively in the hip, leading to sometimes debilitating sciatica symptoms in the hip.
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Other Causes Of Sciatica & Hip Pain
Hip joint pain If you have a problem with your hip joint, your pain is a deeper, dull ache.
Labrum tear Usually with groin pain and sometimes hear a clicking sound with hip movement.
Osteoarthritis of the Hip joint One of the main characteristics is marked stiffness in the mornings or after sustained positions. The stiffness goes away with movement.
Referred pain from your lower back A dull ache in your buttocks that is difficult to pinpoint. The ache gets worse with specific movements of your lower back like leaning backwards.
Femur Fracture Sudden pain after an incident, like a car accident, and you wouldnt be able to take weight on the leg. You
Gluteus muscle strain A deep, dull ache that comes and goes and is relieved by movement.
Full Range Of Movement
Before the end of your rehabilitation we will make sure you have full range of movement under muscle tension. This means that we will add exercises that put the nerve under tension to make sure your pain doesnt flare up again. For instance cycling uphill or doing weighted deadlifts.
1st Phase: Protection & initial Healing
The main goal of this phase is to stop irritation and damage to the nerve tissue. We will guide you on what to do and what not to do, like stooping over a kitchen counter. The biggest part of your treatment during this phase will be education teaching you what is happening, why its happening and what were going to do about it.
The inflamed tissue around the nerve can be managed using a combination of muscle relaxant medications and anti-inflammatories while the nerves sensitivity can be suppressed using Central Nervous system suppressors. We will also use laser to speed up the healing process and strapping to support the area.
3rd Phase: Localize the area of nerve irritation
Our goal is to pinpoint the exact part of the nerve causing your pain and focus our attention on treating the structures surrounding it. We aim to get rid of the pain that radiates down your leg.
5nd Phase: Motor unit recruitment
7th Phase: Full range of motion with load
2nd Phase: Regain Normal Nerve movement
We use massage, stretches and neurodynamic mobilizations to achieve this range of movement. This will also prevent recurrence of the problem.
Surgery for Sciatica hip pain
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Benefits Of Chiropractic For Back Hip And Sciatica Pain
The benefit of seeing a chiropractor for your back, hip or sciatica pain is that there are few, if any, side effects.; Additionally, chiropractic care can help prevent back surgery. In a 2013 study of 1885 workers that had back injuries on the job, 42.7% who saw a surgeon first had back surgery.; Only 1.5% of workers who saw a chiropractor first had surgery.; In 2017, the American College of Physicians updated their low back pain treatment guideline to recommend using non-drug treatments, such as chiropractic adjustments, for acute and chronic low back pain before anything else.;
If you are suffering from back pain, sciatica or hip pain, call your local Rock Solid Chiropractic office today to schedule an appointment and get on the road to living pain free.
Bending Over When Lifting Heavy Objects
Whether you are carrying groceries to your kitchen from your car, picking up your child from the bed, or moving flowerpots in your garden, you are placing large amounts of workload on your lumbar discs. When your lumbar discs are overworked, there is an increased risk for developing herniated discs. This, in turn, can compress or irritate the sciatic nerve.
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Know More About Various Treatment Options For Sciatica
Sciatica treatment plans and methods may vary from patient to patient. Some may benefit more from exercise, but others may not. Treatment therapy can only be effective if you know the underlying cause of your sciatica.
If you have no idea what causes your sciatica, discuss possible diagnostic or assessment procedures with a doctor to fully understand the causes, symptoms, complications, and appropriate treatment modalities for your Sciatica.
What Does Sciatica Pain Feel Like
People describe sciatica pain in different ways, depending on its cause. Some people describe the pain as sharp, shooting, or jolts of pain. Others describe this pain as burning, “electric or stabbing.
The pain may be constant or may come and go. Also, the pain is usually more severe in your leg compared to your lower back. The pain may feel worse if you sit or stand for long periods of time, when you stand up and when your twist your upper body. A forced and sudden body movement, like a cough or sneeze, can also make the pain worse.
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Stretch The Groin And Long Adductor Muscles
- Stretch your legs straight out in front of you, as far apart as possible, when sitting on the floor.
- Place your hands next to each other on the concrete, torso angled down toward the deck.
- Lean forward, the elbows resting on the deck. Stop immediately if you feel pain!
- Hold the spot for 10 to 20 seconds.
Can Sciatica Pain Be Felt In Abdomen
Does sciatica cause abdominal pain?;There are cases when sciatica can lead to abdominal pain, even though it is rare. The pain is usually felt in the lower abdomen near the pelvis.
Musculoskeletal chronic pelvic pain is often caused by pressure on the pelvic nerves, pelvic and hip bones, and pelvic floor muscles.
Symptoms of chronic pelvic pain include both sciatica and abdominal pain. In addition, this condition may also cause chronic low back pain, radiating pain, chronic pain,;upper back pain deep pelvic pain, pudendal neuropathy, sacroiliac inflammation, and muscle weakness and spasms.
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Chiropractors Are Experts In The Treatment Of Back Hip And Sciatica Pain
At Rock Solid Chiropractic our chiropractors are experts in the treatment and care of back pain, hip pain and sciatica pain.; Once we have determined the source of your pain, we will create a treatment plan specific to your unique situation.; Treatment may include chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression, exercise and stretching.; The goal of your treatment plan is to realign the spine with adjustments which removes the nerve interference, restoring your bodys natural healing abilities.; When the bodys nerve communication is restored some of the benefits include, pain resolution, numbness subsiding and muscle strength is restoration.
How To Stop Hip Pain That Travels Down The Leg
In order to stop hip pain that travels down the leg to the foot, it is important to address the risk factors mentioned above. Losing excess weight will reduce the amount of stress placed on the structures of the spine such as the joints, discs, nerves, and muscles during your day to day activities.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that does not cause a lot of impact through the spine.
Starting a smoking cessation program can help hip and leg pain because quitting smoking will restore natural delivery of nutrients to the discs of the back. Nicotine restricts blood flow, and with reduced blood flow, the discs can wear away faster.
This means they lose their ability to absorb shock as you walk, run, and exercise. Over time, this can cause the nerves of the lower back to become pinched and cause sciatic hip pain.
Taking an honest look at how much you move around throughout the day and making any adjustments is also very helpful to stop sciatic hip pain.
Many jobs these days require sitting in an office chair for 8 hours or more. Prolonged sitting puts asymmetrical pressure on the structures of the lower back, and causes muscle weakness since you are not using your muscles for 8 hours.
The most important thing is consistency, not the difficulty or intensity of the workout. Try some light stretching or core exercise on a semi-daily basis.
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