Lower Back Pain: Pseudo Sciatica?

I hope this can serve as a cautionary tale for those in their forties and over. As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’ve decided to lift more and do more cardio. It has helped lower my blood glucose significantly so all good. Right? Wrong. Although I haven’t been lifting crazy loads, I’ve developed some pretty intense lower back pain.

Interestingly, there was no pull or injury while lifting. It was something I woke up with one morning. My sciatic nerve is really hurting just at the top of my left glute. The pain is intense when I sit up from a chair or when I squat down at times. The stabbing pain shoots down the back of my thigh on the outside.

My philosophy on injuries like this is to keep doing what I’m doing. Usually, they work themselves out over a couple of days. I’ve done a bit more stretching, and I skipped my latest leg routine, but that’s about it. Well, we’re nearing the end of week two here, so I’ve started doing some research and prodding around in my gluteus. I’ve found what feels like a pretty significant knot, which is quite tender to the touch.

Since I have no pain in my back proper, my research suggests that this is pseudo-sciatica. What is happening is that a muscle has knotted and is pressing on my sciatic nerve causing pain. The question is which muscle? It’s likely either my gluteus minimus or piriformis.

I’ve done a piriformis test that I’ve linked to below; it doesn’t seem like it’s this muscle:

Instead, it looks like it’s my gluteus minimus:

I’ve been working that knot over the last few days, and the main is lessening. I’ll try the stretches mentioned above, and these ones below:


Life goes on and pain is a part of it. I’ve never been the type to let injury stop me. That said, if something continues to nag, we are all so fortunate to have access to the internet. There has been such an explosion in information over the last two decades which can help us in so many ways. I’ll keep up with the stretching and the working on the knot. I’ll report on this in a week or two.

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