I posted earlier on another thread asking other sciatica sufferers if their symptoms sounded like mine. No one said that theirs did. My pain is not in my back but for the last month or so I've had right leg/foot troubles. My calf is tight and sore. My foot has travelling pains and aches like a toothace and my toes burn. None of these symptoms happen all the time. Just that one or the other is nearly always present. Sometimes I have to limp to walk.
I am being tested for MS. But the doctor isn't convinced that I have it.
I have a new symptom. My right buttock hurts when I sit. It almost feels like the bone that rests on the seat hurts. It feels better when I stand or lean so that the pressure is on my left side. And, when I sit my right leg/foot acts up....getting more tender.
I have very little pain above the knee and none in my back. However, I still feel like I am suffering from Sciatica. What do ya'll think?
Have you had an MRI or ct scan? If not you should request one, that will tell you right away what the problem is. I have spondylolisthesis and sciatica. I'll explain what sciatica does to me. It starts in my right buttock and goes down my right leg to my foot. Lately I've had a tough time with my ankles and heels, I don't know if it's related to the sciatica but I'm sure it has something to do with it. I've always been terrible at explaining my pain but the sciatica is almost like "electrifying" it starts at the buttock and shoots down the leg as is I had just been "shocked" or something. Another real problem I have is when I am kneeling down and I go to get up the right side of my calf hurts like you can't imagine and I have to lean on something to get up. My pain isn't always there but for the majority of the time and it's a whole lot worse at night time. All I can say to you is that you should definitly go for an MRI and for the time being, do not over do it. To me it does sound as though it could be Sciatica but there are so many back problems out there and I am not a doctor. I wish you the best of luck and please let me know how things work out for you and if you have any questions, let me know. Hope this helped a bit. Kristy.
Yes, I have had an MRI. In fact, I've had 3 in the past few weeks. However, They have been of the brain (lesions showed up) (migraines also cause lesions) so I had cervical and thoracic MRIs next. The doctor is looking for MS lesions.
The problem is that I can do anything with my back. I can do anything with my leg. Nothing seems to "cause or increase" the pain like you would expect with a back problem However, I think that my case is just unusual....but may still be sciatica.
I'm probably in for another MRI if the doctor begins to accept that possibility. (My insurance company must be pulling out their hair!!)
I also get migraines and have problems with my neck, mainly the right side. I haven't looked into that part of it much because I've been trying to take care of my other problems first. If you haven't had an MRI on your lower back than you should really try your best to get one, like I said that will tell you everything you need to know. Anyway take care of your self and keep me updated, I would like to know what the outcome is. Kristy.
Disc tear as well...I have 2, possibly 3 separate problems. I'll know in the next few months if my SI joint pain was radiation from the disc or not. But we were able to diagnose the piriformis/nerve 2 years before we FINALLY found the tear. MRIs never found it...I had to tell my Ortho to be extremely aggressive, so we did a discogram, which found the tear that 4 MRIs (1/year) couldn't.
I'm just glad the worst problem is the one that has a chance of being fixed!
Let me add....I said that the pain is only where I sit but, as I walked away from the computer I was reminded that there is a ache/tightness in the area higher also but more to the side....the right side--of my right hip.
It does sound a lot like my problems...sitting, standing, etc. I feel it in the same places...middle of my backside, the side of my hip, the back of my thigh right under the hamstring, and even my middle toe!
What happens in this situation is this: the sciatic nerve branches from the spinal cord in the lumbar region, angling down and out, ultimately branching further down the leg. Since the sciatic nerve passes under your glutes, it also passes under the piriformis, which runs from the L4-5 out and down to the femur on the side.
So, because the piriformis is so deep a muscle, exercising and stretching as part of a normal routine doesn't happen. You actually have to do things that target the muscle. Have you learned the stretches, and the tennis ball method? I LIVE by that one! Lie on your back with one ball under each buttock and adjust until you feel it.
My dr. told me there's even a possibility my sciatic could be running THROUGH the piriformis, making my options fewer. He told me that even though he's heard of surgeries to remove the muscle, he's not heard of any real positive results from that. But, that's his experience...others may have different information.
I think any stretches your PT has taught you, plus tennis balls (maybe even throw ice or heat into the mix), might give you some relief. It's actually better to have a disc piching the nerve, since you can fix that!
I know, the tennis ball method is a little weird! But, if you can find the location of the pain to massage it, you should be able lie on your floor and place it under your buttock in the right place.
A good friend of mine also has this problem, and she has no back pain, which means it's her piriformis. It was good to be able to talk to her about - not the most enjoyable discussion to have with people!
Basically, after 4 years of having all these "nether region" problems, I just have no dignity left! I've even requested massage therapists I've never met before to just "dig in" with whatever works on that muscle. Not a way to have any left, huh??
My dr. prescribed muscle relaxers for this problem, and I usually take them at night to help me sleep. You build up a tolerance level to them, though. That's the tough part for me - I have to stop for a day or two and then restart (since my pain is daily). You may not have to take them unless you go through another extremely painful meeting!
Thanks for the information. I really think this may be a sciatic/piriformis problem. Funny...I've paid so much to docs and had three MRIs and am being monitored for MS....and it took the folks like you on this board to help me narrow down what my problem might be.
NaomiWise, Are you still visiting this board ? How are you doing ?
For the last few months (4-5) I have pain in my left buttock. It's burning when I sit or lay down on my left side. No pain in my lower back or leg/foot, just the left buttock is on fire. I realy didn't do much about it until I asked my internist last week what she think it's and she said sciatica. I told her I don't have any pain in my back or leg so she answered that it depends on the source of the problem (L3-4 or L4-5). After doing much reading on the web it sounds like pirifomis muscle pain.
I do most of the stretching daily and I don't find it helpful. Didn't try massage with tennis ball.
Wow, finally another person who has spondylosis thesis!! I have had it for 22 years and in the past two years, my back pain has increased significantly and in new areas, not just my lumbar area. I have just been referred to Rheumatology as my doctor now thinks I might have Sciatica!!
My pain is quite varied these days and it affects both my legs and feet now too, numbness, tingling, dull ache, intense pain, worse during the night etc etc, you know what I mean I'm sure! lol!
Anyway, just wanted to say hi really as this is the first time in my life I have come across somebody with the same condition as myself.
I'd try the tennis ball method and see if it works. Another option would be to go to a massage therapist and request trigger point or similar treatment. At least one hour, maybe 1 1/2 to make sure you can target the problem and get good advice.
The internist is right...the sciatica's source is in between those two discs. Although I work extremely closely with my drs., I bought an Atlas of Anatomy (mine is Grant's) to do my follow-up research. Plus, a Pill Book (can find at pharmacies anywhere) has proven helpful.
Haven't heard from you lately either. Would like to hear how things are going!
Excellent questions! I'll do my best to answer, since it may vary depending on the person. Here's my perspective:
1) I usually start off by finding the achy spot in the middle and lie on that area for awhile. But, there are times where I roll it along the route of the muscle, which ends obviously higher at the back than it does at the hip bone. Usually a combination of the 2 is probably a good idea - you would know best as you get used to it. I also tend to focus just on the side with Sciatica, but I try to do both sides periodically since it's good even without Sciatica.
2) I don't think you're supposed to do this for a long time (kinda like the heating pad). I would say maybe 15 minutes or so? (TOTAL GUESS...) It'll ache at first, so I'd only do it as long as you can.
3) If it's the piriformis causing the pinch, this will probably be a long-term effort to work on that muscle. Most times, the problem goes away after a certain period of time. Mine has lasted 5 years, though, so I'm trying to learn to live with it. Hopefully that won't be an issue for you; I understand that's not standard. I would be patient and see how the tennis balls work for you.
Wish I could give you more solid information, but hope this helps.