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A 39-year-old member asked:

How can i tell the difference between sciatica caused by a herniated disc or by piriformis syndrome?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Daniel Elskens
36 years experience
Piriformis/sciatica: Piriformis syndrome is rare, usually secondary to trauma, and can be distinguished on physical exam by a competent spine specialist. In difficult clinical cases, MRI or other diagnostic testing such as emg/ncv may help pinpoint the source of nerve compression.
Dr. Brian Le
Dr. Brian Leanswered
Pain Management 18 years experience
Back pain: The back pain can be caused by muscle strain, spinal stenosis, ruptured disc, nerve impingement ... Both herniated disc and piriformis syndrome can cause symptoms consistent with sciatica. You should seek help from pain management doctor, physiatrist or neurologist. From physical examination and radiological tests, we can distinguish the cause of your pain.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 18 years experience
Get MRI: It will tell you the story regarding a herniated disc or not.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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