Leg Pain & The Sciatic Nerve: Identifying Sciatica



Location:

The sciatic nerve is the longest single nerve in the body. It is derived from spinal nerves in the Sciatic Pain1
lumbar  spine and is the primary nerve for the skin of the entire leg as well as the muscles of the back thigh, leg and foot. Tightness in the piriformis and quadratus femoris muscles can compress the sciatic nerve, while the gluteus medius muscle can mimic sciatic pain.

Sciatic Pain2Symptoms:
  • Tingling, numbness, pain or abnormal sensation in buttocks and pain down part of, or the entire back of the leg
  • Weakness or moderate lack of motor control in the leg.

Causes:
  • Lack of mobility
  • Sitting for long periods of time, compressing circulation to the muscles of the posterior hip
  • Reactivity to over lengthening muscles of the hip (excessive yoga or stretch routines, traumatic accident)
  • Poor bio-mechanics and posture (ex: habitual leg crossing while sitting, high heels,  leaning on one leg)
  • Excessive load on the muscles of the hip (ex: over-training, obesity)


Treatment:

A MassageSpecialists.com practitioner will evaluate your injury and provide a comprehensive treatment plan depending on the severity of your injury. Because sciatic pain has a large contribution from soft tissue, massage therapy is one of the most effective means of treating and managing it. Healing can also be aided with diligent self-care. A MassageSpecialists.com practitioner will advise you on appropriate stretches (check out a few here), activity modification, ergonomics, cryotherapy, self-massage, and alternative exercises.