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Trying to understand what the source of pain is

I have had sciatic pain in my left leg for months now, that has at times gotten better and worse. I have been to chiropractors (who thought it was disc-related) and an osteopath... the xrays always show that the vertebrae themselves have no fractures or abnormality, and there appears to be good spacing between them. The osteopath thought it was SI-joint or piriformis muscle related, not discs.

However, I have noticed that I have extremely tight hamstrings, moreso on the left, and can't even come close to touching my toes. The pain is worst when I am sitting. Recently, I have noticed that if I extend my left leg straight out in front of me while I'm sitting, the pain disappears. Also, the top part of my pelvis becomes tight and has a twinge of pain.

While I haven't had an MRI to confirm it yet, does this sound like a disc problem? Any ideas?


  • It sounds like you are having a similar problem to mine which I posted jsut a few minutes ago. My problem is I can't get diagnosed correctly because of inadequate healthcare. I think it may be your piriformis muscle is tight and your hamstrings seem to be tight as well from what you described. I think mine is stemming from a sacroiliac joint which it sounds like you may have the same issue. I am a certified massage therapist and I would at least try getting a few deep tissue massage sessions and have them specifically work on your glutes(butt muscles) piriformis and hamstrings ans well has your ilitibial band and TFL(tensor fascia latte) muscle(those last 2 are around the outside of your leg and hip area. I haven't had any relief from massage but you may. My painn is stabbing like an ice pick. You can look up all kinds of stretches as well on you tube for those muscles. Also alternating ice and heat on your low back may help. Ask the massage therapist to stretch those muscles for you and to show you how to do them at home. You really need all of those worked on and also try having them work your PSOAS. it's a muscle that needs to be worked on from the front of your body. it is a touchy muscle and kind of close to the genitals so don't be embarrassed, They can work it with your clothes on. All those muslces are sensitive and they do hurt to have them worked on, I know cause I get miine worked on but I can't afford to go so i go to the school I graduated at but they only allow me to go once a week but i would love to go 2 to three times a week. Again check youtube, you will find some great stretches on there. I hope this helps in the least bit. Lanay.
    lanay de angelo
  • loopfruitlloopfruit Posts: 3
    edited 07/20/2012 - 5:52 PM
    Thank you so much for the reply. I will definitely try a deep tissue massage therapist and see if I can get them to target those areas. It has been so confusing trying to figure out why exactly this pain started. For months I focused my exercises and recovery around the diagnosis of disc injury when in fact it may have nothing to do with a disc. Another symptom I have is that I can be standing or walking, and have no pain, but immediately, when I sit down, pain shoots down my leg... from research I've done that does not seem to be a disc issue.
  • Those symptoms sound similar to what I experienced!

    I had extremely tight hamstrings and nerve pain running down both legs, especially in the left. It felt like: burning pain-especially at the point where the hamstrings meet the buttocks, tingling in my feet, sharp stabbing pain in my hamstrings and hips, muscle spasms and twitching -especially in the feet, and extreme leg muscle tightness that would last for days and made it difficult to walk. Do you get this at all?

    My doctors still can't find a source of the pain either! I have had nerve conduction testing, vascular testing, MRIs on my spine, lumbar spine, and pelvis, X-rays, CT scans...you name it!

    Fortunately, I came across active release therapy (ART) which has been helping me immensely. To this day, I still don't know the cause of my pain, but am able to walk around with lessened pain. I don't know if ART could be a help to you, but I thought I'd put it out there as my symptoms seemed similar to yours.

    Best of luck!
  • loopfruitlloopfruit Posts: 3
    edited 08/19/2012 - 10:25 AM
    I have not experienced the extreme muscle tightness or spasms, but the other symptoms sound familiar. Can you remember what the initial pain felt like and if anything triggered it?

    How are you using ART? Do you go to a therapist?

    One other symptom I have is when I do an up-dog stretch, like this one: http://www.tanjahesteryoga.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/up-dog-cutout-bw.jpg.w560h410.jpg I get a searing pain starting around the dimple at the SI joint all the way down the leg.
  • I've been away from this forum for a long while.

    I am recently pursuing the possibility of myofascial pain syndrome. Have you ever heard of this?

    Hope you have found some results!
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