It’s common for patients to come into a chiropractor or physical therapy office experiencing pain in the sciatic nerve or the superior gluteal nerve and believe that they have piriformis syndrome, a sciatic nerve disorder. Many of these patients are looking for a treatment to stimulate, mobilize and release this nerve from its surrounding muscles that are creating an entrapment syndrome in the sciatic nerve. I find that often times treatment is unsuccessful because the sciatic nerve and it’s interaction with piriformis is over misdiagnosed and entrapment of the superior gluteal nerve isn’t included as part of the treatment options. When the superior gluteal nerve and artery are blocked by muscle, fascia or scar tissue this is known as superior gluteal nerve entrapment syndrome.
Symptoms of Superior Gluteal Nerve Entrapment
- Sudden intense gluteal pain
- Tenderness with palpation or self compression of the gluteal region (you can test yourself)
- Weakness of abduction (Leg away from body) and in severe cases can make you waddle like a duck while walking (waddling gait)
- Mimic or even cause the sciatic nerve to create pain down the back of the leg (sciatica) due to its artery supply to become blocked. Nerves need oxygen!!
- This nerve originates from the L4, L5 and S1 nerve roots of the lumbar spine, so low back pain is commonly present.