Sciatica, or are your butt muscles literally being a “pain in the ass”?
Do you suffer from a pain in the butt that radiates down the back of your leg? Been told you have “Sciatica”?
It could well be that your sciatic nerve is impinged, however, true sciatica (compression and inflammation of the sciatic nerve) is not as common as you may think and the likelihood is that and there are other reasons why you are in pain.
One of those reasons could be referred pain from trigger points (muscular knots) in the gluteus minimus muscle (see above picture). Minimus, as its name suggests, is the smallest of the gluteal muscles and yet the little devil causes the most pain referral problems. It is less a pain in the ass, as a pain down that refers all down the outside side and back of the leg, right down to the ankle. So you can see how easily it can be mistaken for sciatica. Once the trigger points and associated soft tissue is adequately treated the pain goes away.
Piriformis Syndrome is pain resulting from a tight piriformis muscle found deep in the buttock. This can be responsible for impinging the sciatic nerve as it generally runs under the muscle, although in a few cases it can run through the muscle. It can also refer pain down the back of the thigh. Again with treatment to the soft tissue, trigger points and stretching the muscle and nerve is released and pain dissipates.
Disc herniation, also more commonly known as “slipped disc” is another, but luckily less common reason. Nothing actually “slips”, it is the middle portion of the disc that protrudes through a weakened or torn disc. This can put pressure on the roots of the sciatic nerve in the lower back causing radiating pain down the leg.
So you can see there several reasons why we get pain radiating down the back of our legs that foxes us into thinking we have sciatica! The good news is that soft tissue and trigger points are easily treatable and you can be back operating at full capacity with no pain within a few sessions!