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  • Writer's pictureAmala

Do you have sciatica?

Sciatica refers to a sharp, long line of pain that starts from the lower back or glutes, and makes its way all the way down to your foot/ toes. True sciatica is usually caused by an injury, overuse or a bone spur, causing pressure/ compression to be applied to the nerve resulting in inflammation and pain.

If you feel a long line of pain from your glutes to your foot, this does not necessarily mean you have sciatica.

Long lines of pain that either come on sporadically or not can be from a variety of reasons. The most common reason being an active trigger point that is sending pain signals. This is called referred pain.

When a group of muscle fibres create a tort band, often there is a small nodule that is formed, commonly referred to as a "knot". These "knots" can be active or dormant. If it is active, pain can appear at the source, or in another area of the body due to referred pain.

For example, see the image below.

This is showing you a gluteus minimus trigger point pain referral pattern.

The pain you feel from a trigger point in the belly of the gluteus minimus muscle can cause pain in the areas highlighted in red.

Does this pain pattern look familiar to you?

So although you may have done some research or heard about the term 'sciatica' and the long line of pain it causes, I suggest not going down the rabbit hole of sciatica Google!

Without having a scan that shows the disc bulge or bone spur pressing on the nerve (disc bulges are for a whole other conversation), we can't truly determine sciatica is the cause. In the clinic or with your health practitioner, it is always protocol to check the nerve movement and pain scale, before treating the easiest and most common cause of long lines of pain... trigger point therapy!

If you feel like you have trigger points that are referring pain signals or causing restricted movement, see your practitioner for your first point of care.

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