Fibromyalgia and sciatica are two well-known health issues which can commonly occur at seemingly the same time in people, however, these may also frequently require different treatment approaches to help manage their painful symptoms. Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain throughout numerous regions of the human body. As complex as the diagnosis and treatment for fibromyalgia might be, it’s ultimately fundamental for patients to be aware of any other conditions which may subsequently develop due to the painful symptoms of these well-known health issues.
Sciatica, also known as sciatic nerve pain, is a collection of symptoms rather than a single condition and it is one of the most common health issues to coexist together with fibromyalgia. In this instance, one condition doesn’t necessarily cause the other, however, they can basically be present together. Fibromyalgia patients should understand how sciatica and its characteristic symptoms can affect their overall health and wellness. Many people with fibromyalgia may subsequently develop other health issues when these painful symptoms overlap with other conditions, such as piriformis syndrome.
Piriformis Syndrome vs Sciatica and Fibromyalgia
People with sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, will often report experiencing pain and discomfort, tingling sensations, and numbness anywhere along the length of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the human body, which travels from the lower back into the hip and buttocks, down into the thighs, knees, legs, and feet. Healthcare professionals may perform a variety of evaluations and tests to determine the source of a patient’s symptoms. People with fibromyalgia and sciatica may also experience another common health issue known as piriformis syndrome.
Sciatica is caused by the compression or impingement of the sciatic nerve, frequently due to a herniated disc. Piriformis syndrome can cause sciatica when a piriformis muscle spasm irritates the sciatic nerve. The piriformis is a muscle which extends from the front of the sacrum, or the triangle-shaped bone between the two hipbones in the pelvis, across the sciatic nerve and into the top of the femur, or the large bone in the upper leg. The piriformis muscle is fundamental because it allows the thighs to move from side to side. When an injury or underlying condition causes the piriformis muscle to compress or impinge the sciatic nerve due to irritation and/or inflammation, the end result is typically piriformis syndrome.
Sciatica is the most common symptom associated with piriformis syndrome. Other common symptoms associated with piriformis syndrome include tingling sensations and numbness, muscle tenderness, pain and discomfort while sitting or engaging in physical activities, and difficulty sitting comfortably. Because fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and inflammation, it’s also fundamental for people with fibromyalgia to seek immediate medical attention to diagnose all of their symptoms and rule out the possibility of their sciatica symptoms being due to piriformis syndrome or any other health issue.
As previously mentioned above, sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is a medical condition or rather a collection of symptoms which causes pain and discomfort anywhere along the entire length of the sciatic nerve. For both fibromyalgia sufferers and people with the health issue alone, the pain and discomfort will generally manifest on one or both sides of the hips, buttocks, and thighs, where it will then radiate down the back of the leg, knees, and feet. In some instances, other common symptoms may manifest along the lower extremities, including tingling sensations, burning sensations, numbness, and weakness.
Sciatic nerve pain is most frequently caused by a slipped disc, a bulging disc, a herniated disc, or any other health issue which ultimately causes nerve pain and discomfort, such as fibromyalgia. When sciatica due to piriformis syndrome and/or another medical condition is experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers, it may be difficult for healthcare professionals to find the true source of their painful symptoms. Also, the symptoms associated with sciatic nerve pain and piriformis syndrome are generally the same for fibromyalgia sufferers, however, the most common causes may not be responsible for the symptoms.
Differential Diagnosis in Hip Pain
Fibromyalgia is characterized as widespread pain and discomfort throughout the human body. People with this painful health issue can experience a variety of symptoms, including sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica. Healthcare professionals believe that fibromyalgia can increase the way the human body experiences painful sensations by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals. Fibromyalgia and sciatica are two well-known conditions which can commonly coexist together. However, many fibromyalgia sufferers have reported piriformis syndrome, a condition caused when the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve. Because fibromyalgia can often be associated with increased pain and inflammation, these painful symptoms and health issues can ultimately occur. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
People with fibromyalgia experience widespread pain and discomfort as a result of their medical condition, however, healthcare professionals have demonstrated that fibromyalgia may also cause other symptoms and health issues to manifest, such as sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, and piriformis syndrome. The purpose of the article above was to demonstrate and compare fibromyalgia and sciatica symptoms versus piriformis syndrome. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topic Discussion: Severe Sciatica
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of painful symptoms, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have these results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, through the utilization of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
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