Sciatica Pain vs Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Sciatica vs Sacroiliac

Dr Barry Marks chiropractor explains Sciatica Pain vs Sacroiliac Joint Pain as a cause of lower back and leg pain

sciatica pain vs sacroiliac pain

It’s Common to Mistake Sciatica Pain vs Sacroiliac Joint Pain. Sciatica and Sacroiliac Are Very Different Causes of Pain.

When it comes to pain in the lower back that refers to the buttocks or legs, you probably hear people talk about sciatica and sacroiliac pain. Here’s a brief explanation of these two painful conditions and how to differentiate them.

sciatica and sacroiliac pain diagramSciatica Pain

Sciatica (pronounced “sy-AT-ik-uh”) is a painful condition causing burning, shooting, electrical or tingling pain radiating from your lower back to your lower extremity. The pain can radiate anywhere to your buttocks or all the way down to your toes. It get’s its name from the sciatic (“sy-AT-ik”) nerve; the largest nerve in the body comprised of several nerves from the lower spine to supply the lower leg with nerve impulses. Most noteworthy is butt or leg pain when you stretch out your leg.

Sciatica or sciatic neuritis occurs when your sciatic nerve becomes irritated and inflamed. This can occur due to an injury to the low back and leg, from arthritis in the lower spine, from disc bulges or herniations, tumors or even a spasm in the buttocks muscles. The condition can range from mild and annoying to very severe and debilitating.

Diagnosing sciatica is through history and description of the pain and physical examination. Physical maneuvers that stretch the nerve will result in nerve pain indicating nerve irritation. X-rays or MRI often helps to rule out the exact cause of your sciatica.

Treatment for sciatica pain involves reducing inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Physiotherapy modalities such as heat, electrical stimulation and cold laser as well as stretching exercises can reduce inflammation. Chiropractic manipulation is also helpful to reduce irritation on your nerve at the source in the lumbar spine by unlocking stuck spinal bones.

Sacroiliac Pain

The sacroiliac (pronounced “sakro-il-ee-ak”) joint (SI joint) is an articulation between the ilium bone of the hip region with the sacral (tail) bone. The joint is a very tough joint that has very limited movement normally and is crucial in walking and turning. Your SI’s can malfunction and become fixated or stuck (chiropractors call this a subluxation) with injuries usually involving a sudden twisting or turning of the pelvis, car accidents, slips and falls and heavy lifting.Sacroiliac joint pain is usually a dull pain at rest in the area overlying the joint and sharp pain on movement. The pain may radiate to your buttocks or upwards around the hip and lower back, BUT IT DOES NOT GO DOWN YOUR LEG. This is the crucial delineation between sciatica and sacroiliac pain.

Diagnosis of SI joint malfunction is on history and description of pain and physical exam. Your doctor will place the joint under stress by hand to reproduce the characteristic pain. X-rays may be obtained to see if the joint is arthritic, which is common.

SI joint pain treatment is primarily through manual chiropractic manipulation (adjustments) of the joint to unlock it. Physiotherapy such as electrical stim or laser to relieve local inflammation is helpful. Your doctor will give you exercises to maintain proper joint motion.

Sciatica Pain vs Sacroiliac Joint Pain Summarized

  • Sciatica is a nerve problem with pain that shoots down the leg
  • Sacroiliac pain is a joint malfunction causing localized pain
  • Above all, both conditions are successfully treated with chiropractic and therapy modalities

Certainly, If You Have Problems With Either Your Sciatic Nerve or Sacroiliac Joint, Call Us Immediately (714) 938-0575 for an Appointment. You Will Be Evaluated to Find The Underlying Cause of Your Pain and Provide You With a Personalized Treatment Solution.


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