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Janette asked...

Burning sensation and running

Tags: exercise

Hi, I am a runner and run a minimum of 3 times a week with at least one long run being over 6 miles. Around 2 months ago I began to feel a burning sensation in my right buttock, when walking/running/sitting. At first I was continuing with my usual running routine however after noticing it becoming progressively more uncomfortable I reduced my mileage. I have been focusing on stretching my glutes & strengthening my core but the discomfort is getting worse instead of better. Today I have the usual burning sensation in my buttock as well as pins and needles right down my leg to the bottom of my foot. I have taken Nurofen but am looking for advice regarding diagnosis/treatment. Is it worth visiting the doctor for examination?

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The answer

As you will be aware running is a high impact exercise and it is not uncommon to develop lower back problems as a result of this. The type of symptoms you have been experiencing are suggestive of Sciatic nerve irritation which can be indicative of a potential problem with one of the discs in your lumbar ( lower) spine, this may be pressing on it or surrounded by inflammed and swollen tissue which will have the same effect. Sensations of burning, numbness and pins and needles are all symptoms that can be experienced when there is a problem with a nerve, usually caused by some form of irritation or pressure. From the description you have given the area where you are been experiencing your symptoms in addition seems to be lying directly along the path of the Sciatic nerve.

Under the circumstances it would probably be wise instead of trying to strengthen your gluteal muscles which may be increasing both the pressure and hence problems in your lower spine, it would seem sensible to focus on your quadriceps in your upper thigh. Strong quadriceps can act as a support to the lower back. Given the period of time you have been experiencing these symptoms it would seem very wise to arrange a consultation with your Dr and perhaps also request a referral to an Othopaedic consultant, they will be able to arrange a thorough assessment of your lower back and initiate appropriate care and treatment. I do hope you find this information of use and wish you the best of luck going forward.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses

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