Sciatica: Is it Piriformis Syndrome or Your Low Back?

sciatica

When seeking answers for low back, hip, and leg pain, you may have heard the term Sciatica. This condition occurs when the sciatic nerve (the largest nerve in the body) is irritated or inflamed, causing pain, tingling, and/or numbness felt along part or all of the nerve path; most often starting in the low back or the buttock and traveling down the outer leg, even all the way down to the foot in some cases.

This irritation of the Sciatic nerve is actually quite common, and is often attributed to one of two causes, Piriformis Syndrome or a spinal abnormality in the low back; with a pretty even 50/50 split between the two.

Piriformis syndrome is when your piriformis muscle, a small muscle located deep in the buttock that starts at the lower spine and connects to the upper surface of the thighbone, irritates your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs directly under this muscle, and in some people, it actually runs right through the muscle itself.

The upper portion of the nerve, as it comes out of the spinal cord, is also prone to irritation from the spine. This could be due to stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) or a disc issue such as a herniated or bulging disc. Any of these spinal conditions could result in pressure on the Sciatic nerve creating that pain and irritation felt in the hip and leg.

When it comes to treating Sciatica, the key is for your healthcare provider to understand the cause of it first, because treatment plans will differ tremendously. While imaging tests may help, most often you’ll start with simple mobilizations, stretches, and exercises to see what exactly helps your pain or makes it worse. This can confirm which problem is the root cause of the issue. Then a treatment plan will be developed which may include things such as hot or cold therapies, massage therapy, low back and hip stretches, low back and hip exercises, spinal mobilizations, posture and movement re-education, pain medications, and even injections or other more invasive forms of treatment.

While differentiating and diagnosing sciatica and piriformis syndrome may be difficult, paying close attention to what you feel and being honest with your healthcare providers can make all the difference in the world.

Leave a Comment

I have been receiving massage and cupping services from Kerryann since June 2022. I originally started seeing Kerryann because I am a runner and was training for a marathon, so I required regular massage therapy. Her work is spectacular. Unlike other massage therapists I have visited, she actually listens to you when you mention a specific area feels off. She is helpful in identifying whats going on and designs your session specifically to help you feel better. In the lead up to my marathon, she was able to fit me in for a quick cupping session to tune-up my body before I departed for my race. I beat my personal record by 40 minutes, and I truly believe Kerryann’s help over the course of my training helped me achieve that. I will continue to be a client of Kerryann’s for as long as she’s in this business! Thank you Kerryann for everything that you do!
Best massage that I’ve ever received.

It was my first time going to see Kerryann and I must say from I entered the room it was peaceful serene calm ,I even enjoyed her soft relaxing music selection..

But I loved every bit of my massage Kerryann has gifted hands and I definitely will be going back the time can’t come soon enough.!!
Thank you kerryann for my services today you rock wishing all the success and you got a client for life …

My massage by Kerry-Ann was wonderful. Very therapeutic and healing. I would recommend her, she knew where to put pressure and what advice to give. Thank again Kerry-Ann.
Logistics: Enter the building, head through the brown door in the back left of the first room, go down the stairs, and find Suite B4. No need to check in with the person working at the front of the building.

Wow. Kerryann is amazing, and so strong! I left feeling like a puddle – and like I really needed a massage. After the massage, Kerryann gave me a stretching exercise to do to reduce the tension between my shoulder blades. She played lo-fi beats. The pressure was great.

Highly recommended!

Kerriane is a great massage therapist. She asks the right questions and she knows the right answers to help her clients. My husband & I are so happy she can now come to our home for our massages.

Kerryann provided a great massage service. Helped ease my neck, shoulders and back from pain due to bad posture. Will be coming back!

She hit all the spots on and applied good pressure as needed, a professional.
I went to Naturally Zuri Massage for a cupping session. I walked away with such an experience. She checked in with me to make sure that pressure of the cups was bareable but effective. I’ve had cupping done on me before but she had a different flow and energy to it. I will admit the pain that I had before going to her had reduced and didn’t flare up for about a week.
Had a cupping session with Kerryann and it was a phenomenal experience. She focused on the right areas. I left the session feeling great and felt even better the following day!
The best massage I’ve ever had. I definitely felt the care effort put into my massage. Kerryann was very attentive to my problem areas and took the necessary steps to treat those areas. I absolutely love their heated massage table, the leg pillows and shoulder pillows. I was extremely comfortable, and felt renewed when I left. I will be signing up for the membership. I will also recommend this place to everyone I know.