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Superior Gluteal Nerve Entrapment

What is SGN Entrapment?

The superior gluteal nerve (SGN) is one of multiple nerves that pass through the lower back and into the gluteal and leg regions. When this nerve is pinched due to a narrowing of the space between the hip bones and gluteal muscles, a person may feel sharp localized pain in the area or even pain down the leg. SGN entrapment may also cause numbness, weakness, and eventual atrophy of the gluteal muscles. Because of the shared symptoms to sciatica, this condition may be misdiagnosed and lead to inappropriate treatments and surgeries. The pain increases when walking or standing and is relieved with sitting. Individuals affected by this condition may also have difficulty getting up from a seated position or may feel pain when climbing up stairs.

How does this occur?

This pain generally occurs when people affected by this condition are kept in prolonged sitting, twisting, or standing positions. Factors that increase likeliness of this condition include traumatic injuries like falling or motor vehicle accidents, slipped disk injuries, hip fractures, and hypertrophy of some of the gluteal region muscles. Surgeries are the most common source of this entrapment, especially during hip surgeries as direct needle trauma from improper needle placement may cause SGN entrapment.

How can I help this?

At a physiotherapy clinic, patients can have myofascial release and dry needling treatment in the piriformis muscle can relax and relieve some of the symptoms. If the pain is too great and the treatment is ineffective, the individual may need corticosteroid injections or local anaesthetics to alleviate the pain. Finally, if all other forms of treatment cannot help the symptoms, then surgery may be required.

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