Sciatica is a condition where nerve roots in the lower portion of the lumbar spine become irritated as a result of disc bulge, disc herniation, or osteoarthritis.
There is also a condition called “pseudosciatica” which mimics sciatica. It can pose a real diagnostic challenge. Conditions that cause pseudosciatica include
1. trochanteric bursitis: a form of bursitis that causes pain in the lateral hip. The pain is aggravated by climbing stairs and by lying on the affected side.
2. pyriformis syndrome: a problem that occurs when a swollen pyriformis muscle places pressure on the sciatic nerve. This occurs after over exertion or after a fall on the buttock.
The examining doctor needs to be aware of these “foolers” and perform a careful history and physical examination.
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