Sciatica nerve pain: The shooting pain from hips down the leg


Ever experience a shooting pain or numbing ache from the lower back down one of the legs after a long day standing or sitting at work? This nerve pain is a common symptom when the lower back or glutes muscles contract, impinging onto the sciatic nerve. Sometimes, it causes a limb, and even weakess behind the knees. If left untreated, it is likely basic actions like sitting and standing would be unbearable. The treatable neuromuscular version of this pain (a.k.a piriformis syndrome) is the point of this discussion. However, the vertebrae version due to spinal disc compression would require professional support.

Inflamed areas: Piriformis syndrome is often a result of inflammation in the lower back and glutes muscles, due to prolonged sitting, standing and lifting upon bending down.

Symptoms: Pain pattern usually starts with minor pain and soreness in the hip area, followed by stronger pain when the glutes muscles are compressed. Serious cases involves shooting pain down the back of the hamstring, and further aggravation involves pain down the centre of the calves or side of the legs.

Risk factors: Structural imbalance, such as flat foot and imbalanced shoulders or hips. Repetitive strains, due to activities or motions straining the lower back and glutes. Lack of sufficient recovery period after work or exercise.

Self-Treatment: Use tennis ball and foam roller to reduce swelling and inflammation of lower back, glutes, hamstring and calf. Work on these trigger points primarily to begin the therapeutic process. Rest for 24 hours between each treatment and reduce the relevant risk factors if possible.

Original writings by The Realist, inspired by encounters in professional work in life coaching, physical therapy and PhD research.