How do you tell the difference?
The symptoms are very similar, pain down the leg.
The cause or root problem can be different however.
Dr George Best shares 2 simple tests, to help tell the difference.
True Sciatica is caused by a disc problem in the spine. Generally you have a bulging disc problem, that is affecting the nerve.
Dr George’s test is to start by sitting in a chair. Bend at the knee, straightening the leg out in front of you. If this increases the pain in the low back, hip area, or causes pain to shoot down the leg, it generally indicates a disc problem. Stretching may not always be the best thing for disc related sciatica.
Often what is called sciatica, is really piriformis syndrome. The sciatica nerve runs past, or even through the piriformis muscle in some people. If this muscle gets tight, it can cause pain in the siciatic nerve, in the hip and all down the leg. Stretching can help loosen the the pirifomis, improving the pain situation. Frequent short stretches, throughout the day, are generally better than one long stretching session.
Both Disc and Piriformis
Some people can suffer from both disc related issues and piriformis at the same time.
Easing the Pain with Electrotherapy
Regardless of the cause, electrotheraphy can often be an angel of relief for many people. Interferential or TENS treatment can provide welcome pain relief, while other therapies are undertaken to promote healing of the root problem. To find out if electrotherapy is right for you, click here.