2 Most Common Causes of Sciatica

About the Author: Dr. Scott Gray

Dr. Scott Gray is the Owner of Back in Motion Physical Therapy & Performance. Each and Every Week He Helps His Clients & Patients Live Their Life to the Fullest, Get Active, and Get Pain-Free.


Hi, I'm dr. Scott Gray owner & founder of Back in Motion Physical Therapy & Performance 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.



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2) Hamstrings


The second common entrapment site, as that nerve goes down further into the hamstring area, intervenes at the hamstrings itself.


There is a junction where all three of the hamstrings come together, which is right in the middle of the hamstring and the back of the thigh.


So sometimes granted it can become tight and gunked up down there. It could be the muscles itself, or it could be the fascia, they could really just get irritated.


So typically these types of patients will have more hamstring pain, but they'll even have maybe some pain in the other branches of the psychotic nerve where it branches into the tibial nerve and down into the foot.




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From a treatment standpoint, we would usually work on manipulating that soft tissue. We may even needle the hamstrings or the piriformis we'd stretch it out, but also we'd maybe do some myofascial release type of techniques to break that stuff up.


We also do a thing called sliders or the flossing of the nerve. And basically what that means is taking the tension off the nerve and then relaxing it.


In a nutshell, if you have Sciatica, there are really two common entrapment sites that we see clinically and that would be at the piriformis muscle and at the hamstrings.


If you do have sciatica, you don't need to suffer any longer.


We offer a free discovery visit to see if we can help you. To claim that all you need to do is hit the button below and one of our specialists will be in contact with you.


I hope this information was informative and we look forward to getting you back in motion.


Call our office at 239-223-0484 and schedule your appointment today!


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