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Health Tip: Have Pain in the Back and Leg?

Health Tip: Have Pain in the Back and Leg?

01/03/11

(HealthDay News) -- Do you have a pain in the rear that isn't caused by your boss? This literal pain in the buttocks could signal an inflamed piriformis muscle, which helps stabilize the hip, leg and pelvic area.

The piriformis, often overlooked as a cause of sciatica, can become inflamed, usually from sitting too long or rotating the leg outward (as when driving). When inflamed, the muscle can harden and press on the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica pain in the buttocks that radiates down the leg to the ankle or middle of the foot. It may be felt in the lower back, too. Sitting usually makes it worse, while standing or walking often makes it feel better.

The good news from the Arthritis Foundation is that the sciatica caused by an inflamed piriformis usually does not require surgery. It can be relieved by ice or heat; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen; physical therapy, including deep massage and range-of-motion exercises; and corticosteroid injections.

Preventing future spasms of the piriformis muscle can be as simple as adding stretching exercises to your daily routine, the foundation says.

Copyright © 2011 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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