symptoms of sciatica nerve damage - Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome - Which is It?
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Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome - Which is It?

A large amount of confusion and misunderstanding exists concerning the conditions sciatica and piriformis syndrome. There are some who insist that the two conditions are actually the same thing, but even though they can have symptoms that are very much alike, the underlying causes differ.

But since the most effective treatment for the two conditions varies signficantly, it is important to determine the correct diagnosis if at all possible. In most cases there is an easy way to distinguish between sciatica and piriformis syndrome.

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  Sciatica refers to irritation of the sciatic (often mis-spelled as syatic or psyatic) nerve, that arises from nerve roots in the lumbar spine. The most common cause of sciatic nerve irritation, or "true" sciatica is compression of one or more of its component nerve roots due to disc herniation or spinal degeneration in the lower lumbar region. Sciatica usually begins in the buttock area and, depending on the severity of the underlying nerve comression and inflammation, may extend down the entire leg to the ankle and foot. If you find anything extra mentioning about Sciatica, do inform us. It is only through the exchange of views and information will we learn more about Sciatica.

Piriformis syndrome, also known as "pseudo-sciatica" (meaning "false sciatica"), is actually referral pain and other symptoms (tingling, numbness, etc.) caused by tightness and knots of contraction in the piriformis muscle, which runs from the upper femur bone to the edge of the sacrum, the triangular pelvic bone that is below the lumbar spine. The symptoms of piriformis syndrome are very similar and may be indistinguishable from true sciatica. Get more familiar with Sciatica once you finish reading this article. Only then will you realize the importance of Sciatica in your day to day life.

It is important to distinguish between sciatica and piriformis syndrome, because the treatment for the conditions varies, and getting the diagnosis right typically leads to more effective treatment. We have gone through extensive research and reading to produce this article on Sciatica. Use the information wisely so that the information will be properly used.

The second maneuver is done in two parts. First, from the sitting position one bends the leg and pulls the knee on the painful side towards the same-side shoulder. In all but the most severe cases, there is usually no major increase in pain in this position. The second part of the maneuver is to pull the knee toward the opposite side shoulder. An increase in the sciatica-like symptoms is a strong indication of piriformis syndrome.

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In some cases, piriformis syndrome may cause true sciatic nerve irritation, as the sciatic nerve may run underneath or even through the middle of the piriformis, so contraction of the piriformis may produce sufficient compression of the sciatic nerve to produce actual nerve symptoms. This is one of the main sources of confusion when it comes to distinguishing true sciatica from piriformis syndrome. We wish to stress on the importance and the necessity of Sciatica through this article. This is because we see the need of propagating its necessity and importance!

As mentioned earlier, the symptoms of true sciatica are very similar to piriformis syndrome. Both cause pain, tingling, burning, "electrical shock" sensations, and/or numbness down the leg, often all the way to the foot. In addition, both sciatica and piriformis syndrome tend to be at least partially related to biomechanical functional problems in the joints of the back and pelvis and they may even be present simultaneously in the same person, so it an be difficult to tell them apart.

About the Author:

Dr. George Best is in private practice in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, check out Dr. Best's free e-book and online video course to assist in understanding and treating sciatica and piriformis syndrome, including in-depth instruction on sciatica exercises at .


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I wanted to share with you the important sciatica stretches that you can do to help get rid of back pain. There are a lot of people out there that have back problems and most of these people would describe it as the greatest pain you ll ever experience. I think it s important to understand that it isn t a sharp pain that hits you in one spot; it s a sharp pain that spreads across your back. You...

What is Sciatica? Sciatica is a medical term used to explain symptoms that develop when the Sciatic nerve is compromised. Pseudo sciatica, which is the most common, occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the Piriformis (bum) muscle. True sciatica occurs when one of the sciatic nerve roots is compressed when it exits the spinal column. Symptoms of Sciatica Regardless of the type...

Sciatica is a type of pain typically experienced around the Sciatic nerve in the back. Characterized by slow pain or sharp jabs, Sciatica can nearly paralyze a human, pain experienced in the back, from neck al the way into legs can render a person incapable of performing regular functions such as walking or even sitting. Sciatica can be disgnosed with professional help, using medical history and...

Sciatica is the Latin word for Pain down the back of the leg Sciatica is referred pain usually caused by trapping the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Finding a cure for Sciatica is a challenge, have you searched without finding anything? Maybe you have and have decided to give up, but are still hoping to find some relief for the pain. I am not going to lay claim to any cures for...

Many people live with back pain in one form or another. Fortunately, there is some hope for those who are suffering with it. With discipline and the desire to feel better, exercising for sciatica can bring some relief and some people claim healing. The quality of life decreases dramatically, family life suffers, and sometimes a feeling of hopelessness and depression can overwhelm the sufferer...

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