What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain in Buttocks
Sciatic nerve pain in buttocks is commonly caused by a condition known as Piriformis syndrome whereby the piriformis muscle that is located in the buttock region spasms and causes pain. These spasms irritate the nearby sciatic nerve. Numbness and a tingling along the back of the leg all the way to the foot and calf can also be present. The piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttocks, behind the gluteus maximus and is small in size. This muscle starts at the lower spine region, around the 4th and 5th lumbar and spreads at to the upper areas of each femur. It functions by assisting to rotate the hip and turning the leg and foot outward. The piriformis muscle normally runs diagonally the hip region while the sciatic nerve runs vertically underneath it. In some people, this nerve runs through the piriformis muscle. This close location of the piriformis muscle and the sciatic nerve is the main reason why one will experience pain the buttocks.
To properly diagnose sciatic pain in the buttocks and treat correctly, it is important that investigation starts at the piriformis muscle.
The Piriformis syndrome can be caused by:
- Tightening of this muscle in response to injury or spasm.
- Bleeding in the region around the piriformis muscle.
- Swelling of the piriformis muscle due to spasm or injury.
- Muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle as a result of either irritation of this muscle or a nearby structure like the hip or sacroiliac joint.
Any or a combination of these problems can cause the sciatic nerve to get irritated and cause pain in the buttocks. It is also important to note that piriformis muscle pain can also cause pain to be present on the lower back, in the buttocks, the back of the thigh, along the calf and foot region.
Symptom of sciatic nerve pain in the buttocks will include:
- Deep muscle and nerve pain.
- Sporadic or sustained numbness or tingling in the buttocks, thighs and calf regions.
- Pain when walking up inclines, stairs or elevated surfaces.
- Increased pain after sitting for a long time.
- A significantly reduced rotation range of the hip joint.
Apart from treating sciatic nerve pain in the buttocks with antiinflamatory nerve medication and physiotherapy, it is important to extend treatment to the piriformis muscle as a primary root cause of this nerve pain. It is imperative that proper diagnosis of this problem – sciatic nerve pain in buttocks, and any subsequent medication is made available to all patients.