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Why am I having persistent thigh pain?

Q: I am a 39 years old mother of two children. I am experiencing pain in the back of my left thigh for the past 10 years. Sometimes, the pain is very severe and it runs from thigh down to my calf muscle. I walk daily for over a kilometre on regular basis. I would like to know if it is due to sciatic nerve or something else. So far, I have not consulted any doctor. Please advise if I have to undertake some tests or is there any effective medicine for cure. What exactly I am suffering from?

A:I think you might be suffering from a condition, which is called Piriformis Syndrome. The Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referred pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This referred pain, called sciatica, often goes down the back of the thigh and/or into the lower back. Patients generally complain of pain deep in the buttocks, which is made worse by sitting, climbing stairs, or performing squats. Piriformis syndrome is diagnosed primarily on the basis of symptoms and on the physical exam. There are no tests that accurately confirm the diagnosis, but X-rays, MRI, and nerve conduction tests may be necessary to exclude other diseases. Initially, progressive piriformis stretching is employed, starting with 5 seconds of sustained stretch and gradually working up to 60 seconds. This is repeated several times throughout the day. You could consult a good PT who can teach you these exercises.


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