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Frequently Asked Questions

SUBJECT

I have received an examination because the doctor suspected that I have herniated disc, but the test results showed no abnormalities.

DATE

2014-06-03

HIT

499

Question>

I am suffering from stiff hip and leg numbness. The doctor suspects that it is lumbar disc herniation. I’ve received an exam, but the test results showed no abnormalities. Is there unexplained pain?


Answer>

Stiffness in sacral vertebrae region and leg numbness may be easily thought as lumbar disc and  sciatica. But you can experience similar symptoms despite the different causes. If there are no abnormalities in the disc, ischial bursitis is suspected. There is a pocket, called mucous cyst in the hip. If there is pain in the mucous cyst, the hips are stiff.  Also, the sciatic nerves pass underneath the mucous cyst, so if the inflammation suppresses the sciatic nerves, leg numbness like sciatica can be present.

The diagnosis of these symptoms is often confused with lumbar disc or lumbar stenosis. A patient came to our hospital after being diagnosed with lumbar disc or lumbar stenosis at another hospital. The hospital recommended surgery, but after a thorough exam at our hospital, the patient was diagnosed with ischial bursitis and has been treated easily. Infrared thermography is best when trying to distinguish between lumbar disc and ischial bursitis. 

Piriformis syndrome can cause the same symptoms. The piriformis is a pelvic muscle between the tailbone and the hip joint, and like a mucous cyst, sciatic nerves pass underneath the muscle. So if the piriformis is strained or enlarged, it suppresses the sciatic nerves and causes the symptoms of leg stiffness or numbness similar to a disc herniation. The piriformis syndrome is more common in women than in men. Also, this occurs when you keep your wallet or cell phone in the back pockets of your pants or after a long period of travel by airplane or car.

If diagnosed correctly, the ischial bursitis or piriformis syndrome can be treated easily. They can be treated with inflammatory treatment and taping therapy. 

Therefore, be careful not to have unnecessary surgery due to misdiagnosis. Even if the symptoms are slightly different from the sciatica, paraesthetica or degenerative osteoarthritis can also cause leg pain. So you need to get an accurate diagnosis using infrared thermography and others screenings.