If you have nerve pain in your pelvis and legs that bothers you,
if you are looking to know the causes of nerve pain in your pelvis and legs,
if you want to know the ways to treat nerve pain in your pelvis and legs, we recommend that you read the following article. In this article, we intend to provide complete scientific information in simple language.
Pelvic nerve pain can sometimes be referred to as sciatica in people. Pain that starts in the pelvis and spreads to the legs. This pain may be just a mild, transient pain, but sometimes pelvic nerve pain can be so severe and annoying that it can cause a person to become completely disabled.
Read on to find out more about pelvic and leg nerve pain.
We said that sometimes people refer to pelvic nerve pain that spreads to the buttocks, back of the thighs and legs as sciatica.
In the following, we will answer your questions about sciatica.
In the following, you will read more about nerve pain that starts in the pelvis and spreads to the thighs and legs.
What is sciatica?
In fact, sciatica is the name of the tallest and thickest nerve in our body. This nerve on the right and left is formed by the joining of several thin nerve fibers that protrude from the spinal cord and are called the root of the spinal nerve. After forming from the back of a pear-shaped muscle called piriformis, it moves downwards and reaches the back of the knee. In this part, it is divided into two branches and takes over the nerves of the muscles of the back of the leg down.
So, in short, it is better to say that the sciatic nerve starts from the lower back and continues from the back to the end of the leg in each direction.
How is pelvic nerve pain or sciatica caused?
Any factor that puts pressure on nerve roots, nerve trunks, or nerve branches in any part of the above movement path will cause nerve damage and inflammation, resulting in difficulty in transmitting the nerve message along the sciatic pathway.
Symptoms of pelvic nerve pain or sciatica
The pain will actually follow the pressure on the sciatic nerve and its inflammation.
So the term sciatic nerve pain seems more appropriate.
The symptoms of this pain will be as follows:
Pelvic pain that starts gradually and may get worse over time.
The pain spreads to the buttocks on the same side, behind the thighs, and behind the knees.
Due to the sharp and diffuse nature of this pain, it has been called radicular pain
And the whole process is called radiculopathy (“pathy” in medicine indicates disorder and problem).
In areas affected, numbness of the skin surface may be present.
Stiffness and burning sensation and tingling are very common in the affected areas.
A person with pelvic nerve pain may feel heaviness in the muscles of the affected areas from the pelvis to the back of the thighs and legs.
Muscle weakness and decreased muscle strength are possible. Muscle thinning may occur at the same time as pressure, pain, and inflammation.
Sciatica is said to be exacerbated by sitting, standing, changing positions, and sneezing, coughing, and straining. The pain may be mild and transient, or it may be so severe that the sufferer is unable to even perform normal daily activities.
But what causes pelvic nerve pain to spread?
In the following, there are the causes of pelvic nerve pain.
What are the causes of sciatica or pelvic nerve pain?
- Factors related to the skeletal system (bones, joints, muscles and ligaments)
- Dislocation of the intervertebral disc or herniated disc:
Between the two adjacent vertebrae along our spine is a cartilaginous disc-shaped plate. This intervertebral disc in a young and healthy person is composed of a soft and flexible jelly core plus a strong ring around the disc. The function of the disc is to adapt to the high pressures on the spine due to its flexibility. In fact, the vertebral disc is a shock absorber.
If the pressure is increased, the jelly core, soft and flexible in the middle of the disc due to the pressure, may press on the tight ring around the disc, resulting in disc herniation or disc protrusion between the two vertebrae.
If the intensity or duration of this pressure is increased too much, the tight ring will break.
The roots of the spinal nerves, which protrude from the spinal cord in pairs on the right and left sides, are right next to the hernia. Thus, a hernia or rupture puts pressure on the roots that make up the sciatic nerve and causes its damage and inflammation.
This process is the most common cause of sciatica or pelvic nerve pain in young people, such as when lifting, pushing, or pulling a heavy object.
- Erosive and degenerative changes of the vertebrae:
In the elderly, the intervertebral disc no longer has a jelly nucleus and is stiff and inflexible. Its height decreases and it becomes filamentous inside, the bones adjacent to the disc are degenerated and they try to compensate for the weakness of the disc by making abnormal bony appendages. As the wear of bone surfaces inside the bones increases, cysts appear near the degenerated disc.
The bony growths created will put pressure on the roots of the spinal nerve, so the above degenerative changes will be the main cause of pelvic nerve pain in the elderly or in people with osteoarthritis and vertebral osteoarthritis.
- Fractures of the vertebral bones of the spine:
- Following trauma and falls
- Looking for osteoporosis
- Following tumors and bone metastases or vertebral infections such as tuberculosis or brucellosis
- Slipping the lumbar vertebrae on top of each other:
- Spasm of the muscles around the spine
- Pyriformis syndrome:
The piriformis muscle is a small pear-shaped muscle in the back and depth of the pelvis. The sciatic nerve is said to pass right behind or through this muscle.
If you move your thighs too far away from the center axis of your body, this muscle will contract more. This contraction will put pressure on the sciatic nerve and inflame it, and can One of the differences between this pain and sciatic nerve pain is that the pain of piriformis syndrome is generally limited to pelvic and hip muscles on one side. And sometimes it is accompanied by pain in the back and upper thighs, so less than the pain of the sciatic nerve, the pain in this syndrome is likely to reach lower than the back of the thigh.
- Tumors inside the vertebrae
- Tumors inside the spinal canal
- Spinal canal stenosis:
- Tumors of muscles, bones and joints in the direction of nerve movement
- Neuropathies (= Nerve Injuries and Problems):
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
They can be independently associated with inflammation and damage to the nerve fibers outside the spinal cord, which in combination are called peripheral neuropathies.
Non-standard positions of sitting, sleeping and incorrect body position when lifting objects from the ground, standing and sitting for long periods of time, obesity and overweight All are accompanied by diffuse pressure on the vertebrae and nerve pain in the lower back and pelvis.
When bending, do not bend at the waist to lift objects off the ground, but bend your knees.
- Vascular diseases:
Another cause of pelvic pain that spreads to the legs is vascular injury and disease
Just as the walls of the coronary arteries become narrowed and blocked, the walls of the pelvic arteries may become narrowed due to atherosclerosis. This stenosis also occurs in other arteries in the body, such as the arteries of the legs and thighs and the digestive system, and is called PAD or peripheral arterial disease.
Pelvic pain when increasing physical activity, lameness that decreases when standing is one of the symptoms of this disorder.
Peripheral arterial disease is more common in people who are at risk factors for acute coronary heart disease, such as obese and diabetic people with a family history of coronary heart disease and people with imbalances in blood lipids, smokers, and others.
Risk factors for pelvic nerve pain spreading to the legs
The following people are more at risk for sciatica pain than others:
- Elderly people due to the prevalence of spinal cord injuries and degenerative changes and spinal canal stenosis
- People who have occupations in which they mainly and chronically rotate from the waist, or people who constantly carry heavy loads or have long drives, or stand or sit for a long time and have little mobility.
- Diabetics are more prone to damage to extra-spinal nerve fibers or peripheral neuropathy.
It is interesting to know that so far two genes have been discovered in people who are more prone to sciatica.
- Obtain an accurate history
- Ask questions about your signs and symptoms
- Asking about medications and history of illness in yourself and your close relatives
- Appropriate clinical examinations and evaluation of muscle strength and reflexes and sense of affected areas
- Sometimes it is necessary to use nerve conduction velocity or NCV tests and muscle activity or EMG tests.
- Sometimes imaging such as spinal X-ray imaging, CT scan, MRI, and x-rays are also needed.
If there is no tumor, metastasis, infection or abscess:
Forty-eight hours of rest is recommended. More rest and immobility will slow down the healing process and worsen the symptoms.
Common OTC analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen and muscle relaxants.
Cold compress for the first two days to reduce inflammation two or three times a day for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Warm the painful area from the second day onwards
Occasionally, intermittent cold therapy and heat therapy are recommended
Initiation of appropriate stretching movements with improvement of the acute phase of pain.
Standard physiotherapy to create and maintain proper alignment and strengthen the muscles that support the spine and increase fitness and flexibility
If the pain does not improve with the above methods, stronger painkillers will be prescribed by a doctor, and if the pain persists after a few months, corticosteroids will be injected into the epidural space of the spinal canal, and finally surgery will be necessary.
When should we see a doctor?
In the following cases, it will be necessary to see a doctor:
- Pain lasting more than six weeks.
- The pain, which is getting worse day by day, should be evaluated immediately.
- Pain following an accident and trauma.
- Existence of pelvic pain with or without diffusion into the foot with defecation in newly formed feces.
- Thinning of the muscles of the buttocks, thighs and legs on the affected side.