Image credit((Source: “Man on one knee inspecting his painful leg,” Standard License Subscription with Stock Photo Secrets – Image ID :ISS_8066_05393))
Hands On Healing provides therapeutic treatments for a variety of leg pain issues, including those caused by or related to Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome.
We’re located in Montgomery, Alabama.
When dealing with any level of pain, people may often feel that every turn they make in life is immediately met by a yield sign, defining some of the simplest activities that they can enjoy.
However, most people may agree that they can tolerate a dull ache in their back compared to a much more intense sharp shooting pain in their legs.
First, let’s illuminate what happens when a person experiences sciatica, and why sometimes it may be something entirely different.
Those who have experienced sciatica can relate that nothing really stands close to the intensity or the level of interference that the condition brings into their lives.
Sitting, walking, or standing, if it involves the legs, it’s likely to cause discomfort.
The sciatic nerve (See Figure 1, Image credit((Source: “Illustration of Sciatic nerve – anterior view”, By KDS4444 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons »)) ) is a cluster of multiple nerves that originate from the lowest section of the lower back and the tailbone, which combine to travel down the length of the back side of the leg.
Like any other nerve of the body, if too much pressure is applied to the nerve by other structures such as fascia and muscles, the nerve will often become inflamed and begin radiating with pain.
By medical definition, true sciatica is the impingement or compression of the nerve by a disc or vertebrae as it exits the lower spine.
The more common cause of sciatica is the compression of the nerve by the piriformis muscle and related soft tissues.
This condition is referred to as “pseudo sciatica”, or more commonly as Piriformis Syndrome.
Looking at the sciatic nerve in Figure 2 (click to enlarge), you can see that it travels beneath the piriformis muscle in a tight space known as the sciatic notch of the pelvis.
In some circumstances the nerve may actually travel right through the piriformis.
When the legs are out of balance, the tissue of the piriformis muscle will stretch and push down on this notch, squeezing the sciatic nerve and creating irritation and pain.
Although the basic treatment to release the piriformis is simple and often very effective at alleviating pain, it is still very important that the condition be properly assessed beforehand.
The reason for mentioning this is that sciatic irritation and pain will always radiate down the back of the leg; whereas pain that radiates down the front or side of the thigh is a completely different nerve plexus and requires a different method of treatment.
So if your legs have been in pain lately, discuss with your therapist at Hands On Healing the need for getting an assessment to keep you moving, since living life to the fullest has no time for yield signs!