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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: tender sciatic nerve, but no symptoms of sciatica


 maryooliss - Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:54 pm

I am 21, female. Average height (5'6) and weight (130 lb). Somewhat athletic. I was in a very serious car accident 3 years ago. My chiropractor noticed the accident moved a few upper vertabrae and ribs which are now back in line. I experience very slight lower back pain, neck pain, and pain in my right shoulder when I'm rockclimbing hard or backpacking for a few days. A doctor recently noticed I have very slight scoliosis but thinks it's unrelated to the accident.

My mother has had severe and debilitating sciatica for a few years, and today she was feeling around my lower back. She applied pressure to my sciatic nerve (she said it was the sciatic nerve...it was about 1-2 inches above my tailbone, in the middle of my back along the spine) and it really hurt! She did it again, and it hurt so much that I dropped everything I was holding. I've never noticed this pain until she did this. I've read a little about sciatica and I don't have any of the symptoms -- my legs and buttocks are fine, and I've always attributed any lower back pain to the accident.

So my questions are: could the tenderness be associated to the car accident? Can this lead to sciatica? Should I be taking preventative care and how?

Thank you.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:25 pm

User avatar Hello,
The location of your Mom's palpation would place her fingers on the sacrum ...not on the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve, the main nerve to the lower extremities, is well protected by the pelvic bone and hip muscles. The best place to palpate the sciatic nerve is deep in the buttock. It exists the pelvic area just under the piriformis.
If you place your foot on a chair and find the ischial tuberosity (the butt bone - the ones we sit on) and move laterally, you will be on or near the sciatic nerve.

Hope this helps.
Keep us posted.

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