Knee & Leg Pain

Sciatica - Is it Piriformis Syndrome or a Herniated Disc?

Sciatica symptoms can be caused by piriformis syndrome or a herniated disc. Here are some easy ways to help narrow it down, and some treatments for each.

It’s important to know which one is causing the sciatica so you can treat it appropriately.

Piriformis syndrome is when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle. Since the sciatic nerve runs down behind the leg and under the piriformis, if it is tight and pushing on the nerve, it can cause pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. An easy way to test if your piriformis is tight, is to lie on your stomach with your feet bent up to the ceiling. Let them drop down to the side. If one doesn’t go as far and feels tight, it could be piriformis syndrome.

Some piriformis stretches including the figure 4 and the knee to opposite shoulder should help loosen up the muscle and reduce symptoms.

A herniated disc can compress the sciatic nerve at the spine. To test this, you can lie on your stomach and prop up on your elbows. This might cause pain in the low back, and in the beginning, it might reproduce symptoms, causing pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. Though you might feel pain at first, one of the treatments is to hold this position, and the symptoms should start to go away.

Besides prone props, you can do prone press ups, and a cat/dog stretch in quadruped to help relieve the symptoms.

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Patellar Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches for Pain Relief

Patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, is when there is pain in the knee right at the attachment of the patellar tendon to the kneecap (patella). These stretches & exercises should help with patellar tendonitis.

The first thing is to get the patella loosened up and moving by doing some patellar mobs. Make sure not to push downward when moving the patella.

Then you want to stretch all the muscles around the knee including the quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. The all can cause a lot of pain in the knee if they are tight.

Finally, you want to strengthen the muscles around the knee and hip. Straight leg raises, sidelying hip abduction, prone hip extension, prone leg lifts, bridges, and clamshells work muscles around the knee and hip including the hip flexors, hip abductors, gluteus medius and maximus, hamstrings, and core muscles.

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Real Time Knee Pain Stretches

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5 Easy Ways to Reduce Leg Pain & Swelling

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Leg pain and/or swelling in the legs can cause a lot of problems, and it can also prevent you from activities and even walking. Here are 5 easy ways to help reduce leg pain and swelling.

The first thing is to elevate the leg. It’s important to elevate it above your heart. This helps move the swelling and fluid back into your main system and work it out of your body.

The second treatment is icing the area. There is a lot of different opinions on how much icing helps. But in my opinion, it helps reduce swelling and scarring/adhesions. Make sure to only ice for 10-15 minutes at a time.

The third way to to help reduce leg pain and swelling is using compression stockings. The folks at JOMI have a great selection of compression stockings with different sizes, colors, and compression amounts for whatever you need. If you can’t get off your feet and prop them up, these compression stockings are a great way to help get your legs feeling better.The fourth treatment is an ankle pump. They are very simple and easy to do, and they are very effective. The calf muscle works as a natural pump to move the fluid out of your legs.

Finally, there is a straight leg raise. This helps activate all the muscles in the leg to not only strengthen the area, but to also reduce the pain and swelling.

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Real Time Anterior Tibialis Stretch to Relieve Shin Splints & Lower Leg Pain

The anterior tibialis muscle is involved with anterior shin splints and can be very painful when it is irritated. This anterior tibialis stretch can help you prevent and recover from shin splints and other lower leg pain.

The anterior tibialis muscle sits just on the outer portion of your tibia (shin bone). The muscle helps dorsiflex and invert the foot. People often have shin splints from running/walking on hard surfaces, not having the right shoes, or even bad body mechanics.

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Real Time Standing Quad Stretch to Relieve Thigh Pain & Knee Pain

When your quads are tight, they can cause knee stiffness and pain. This stretch can help relieve knee and thigh pain and soreness. It’s also a great stretch to keep your legs moving through out the day if you sit for long periods.

The quadriceps femoris muscle, or the quads are a large muscle group that helps straighten or extend the knee.

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