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Rohlfs Chiropractic Care December 2019 Newsletter – Piriformis Syndrome or Disc Herniation

Jan 2, 2020

 Piriformis Syndrome or Disc Herniation?
Sciatica refers to pain, numbness, or tingling radiating along the course of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the buttock, to the back of the thigh and into the lower leg and foot. Sciatica usually affects one side of the body. Remember, Sciatica is not a diagnosis, but it is only a symptom of a condition. The largest number of cases involving sciatica are due to a disc herniation, but is it really the root cause of this symptom? Could it be the piriformis muscle, which could compress the sciatic nerve?

Let’s discuss

Picture of Sciatica Caused by Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome
Piriformis Syndrome is a condition that causes sciatic nerve symptoms due to the compression of the sciatic nerve around the buttock and the hip. The condition is usually connected to the piriformis muscle and its relationship to the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle runs from the sacrum to the hip and it is within close proximity to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve typically exits below and anterior to the piriformis.

1. So what causes this condition?
– Anatomical anomalies such as split piriformis muscle
– Vascular Structures
– Variation of the sciatic nerve pathway
– Tightness, adhesions, or spasm of the piriformis muscle
2. How do I know if I have it?
– Difficulty sitting or putting weight on the buttock on one side
– Difficulty running or walking long distances
– Muscle spasm of piriformis muscle
– Sciatic-type pain when the hip is moved or rotated outward against resistance
3. How do we fix it?
– Myofascial Release, Dry Needling, and Cupping
– Exercises/Stretches
– Adjustments to the Pelvic region
Disc Herniation
A herniated disc results when a disc moves out of place or bulges and puts pressure on the adjacent nerves or nerve roots. In turn, the pressure typically creates a symptom called sciatica. When a disc becomes compromised in the low back, the center (or nucleus) pops out of its usual position. This type of injury is relatively common though and should not be feared. The good news is that there is a good amount of research out there that have shown that people struggling with sciatica can get some fantastic results with conservative care.

Picture of Person With Low Back Pain Due to Disc Herniation

1. So what causes this condition?
– Repetitive movements
– Improper lifting
– Being overweight or aging
– High impact injuries
– Coupled motions – movements involving bending forward and rotating one way
2. How do I know if I have it?
– Back Pain associated with Leg Pain – Pain typically starts in the low back and travels down the back of the leg along the path of the large sciatic nerve.
– Nerve Pain – Searing, sharp, electric, radiating, or piercing type of pain into the leg
– Neurological Signs – Numbness, pins-and-needles feeling, or weakness into the leg
– Foot drop – Difficulty lifting the foot when walking or standing on the ball of the foot
3. How do we fix it?
– Chiropractic Adjustments
– Exercises and Stretches, particularly in the extension or backwards bending position
– Myofascial Release

If you have pain down your leg and think it could be due to piriformis syndrome or possibly a disc herniation be sure to contact us.  We can help!

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Rohlfs Chiropractic Care

Rohlfs Chiropractic Care of Wilmington