So many of our current clients and patients come to us for complaints of sciatica, and the truth is, the majority of clients really don’t have sciatica.
They may have back pain, pain in the buttock, hip, and sometimes those symptoms can mimic true sciatica.
So let’s just backtrack for a second, sciatic really is an irritation of the sciatic nerve and it comes from the spine at L4-5, and S1, S2, & S3.
It comes down into the leg and into the buttock here, and you can get symptoms down into the hamstring. It starts in the buttocks, and you can even get some of the different branches where it branches down into the lower extremity.
That’s true sciatica.
Three Things That We Commonly See That Mimic Sciatica….
Now conversely if you just have, dull achy pain on the outside of the hip, you may some groin pain, you even have some back pain, it usually isn’t sciatica.
The three things that we commonly see that mimic sciatica is trochanteric, bursitis, or hip tendinopathy.
Your butt muscles come off the outside and they attach to the outside part of the hip.
And usually, patients who think they have sciatica will sometimes have pain when sitting, they’ll have pain when walking, and they’ll usually have pain if they kick their leg out to the side when the muscle contracts.
And so that’s not sciatica, it’s a totally different, diagnosis and a different treatment.
Now similarly, sometimes people think they have sciatica when they have groin pain…
When you have groin, that’s usually more indicative of the hip joint pathology.
Usually, patients who have groin pain will have pain with prolonged walking or if they go into like a deep squat, or if they rotate, and there’s some sort of pathology whether it be osteoarthritis of the hip. Maybe even a labral tear.
You may even have just some effusion and swelling in the joint itself.
The last thing that really mimics sciatica is just back pain in general, right?
Just like you’ve got an elbow joint, wrist joint, you’ve got knee joints, you’ve spinal joints called the facet joints.
A lot of times if you get back pain, it’s usually these facet joints can be compressed and irritated, and it can mimic sciatica and you think,
“Oh, my God, I have sciatica.” But you really don’t.
You may have irritation on that joint, and that joint just needs to be stretched out.