Hi, I’m dr. Scott Gray owner & founder of Back In Motion Sport and Spine Physical Therapy here in Fort Myers, Florida.
If you have sciatica, you know how debilitating it can be?
It can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest at night.
It can slow you down and give you this unrelenting pain in the buttocks, the lower back, but most importantly, down the leg is typically where you’ll feel it if you have true sciatica.
I want to describe two of the most common reasons for sciatica and believe it or not, they’re actually related to entrapment sites.
Entrapment sites in the medical world are described as chronic compression of a peripheral nerve usually between ligamentous and bony surfaces that are characterized especially by pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness.
And so there are muscles that the sag nerve innervates and it passes through, and sometimes these muscles can become tight or restricted and you can get sciatica.
1) Piriformis Muscle
The first entrapment site that we commonly see is that the piriformis muscle. The piriformis is a deep hip, buttock muscle.
You’ve got several different layers of tissue on the back part of your hip, starting from the skin, some fat, then your glute Maximus muscle, but deep to that, you have the piriformis muscle and it runs at an angle.
The sciatic nerve usually runs underneath it. So when that piriformis muscle gets tight, it pushes down on the nerve. And then you can get these funny sensations.
You can get numbness and tingle down into the leg. You can get buttock pain, hamstring pain, and pain when you sit down for a prolonged period of time. You’re compressing that nerve.
And so usually with sciatica, at the piriformis is where it’s entrapped, you’ll usually have pain when you stretch that nerve out, potentially you’ll have a little bit of discomfort, but like a good hurt.