The piriformis is a muscle located in the buttock. It extends from the bottom of the spine to the thigh bone outside the buttock, also known as the femur. It runs close to a large, never known as the sciatic nerve. In some cases, the nerve may run through the piriformis muscle. Sometimes, the piriformis muscle may suffer from piriformis syndrome, which causes the muscle to spasm and cause persistent pain in the buttock. The spasms can also irritate the sciatic nerve resulting in sciatica, a condition that results in numbness, tingling, and pain in the legs, feet, and hips. If you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, you may need to visit a Newtown Piriformis Syndrome expert for diagnosis and treatment.
This article highlights all you need to know about piriformis syndrome, including the symptoms and possible treatments. Read on for more.
Signs and Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome
While the primary cause of piriformis syndrome remains unknown, the muscle spasms may result from injury, bleeding in areas surrounding the piriformis muscle, or inflammation.
One of the earliest symptoms of piriformis syndrome is a persistent tenderness in the buttocks. In some cases, you can have sciatica symptoms that run from your lower back to the legs. The symptoms may also be accompanied by muscle spasms, Charlie horses, cramps, and muscle quivers.
The compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle causes pain. It becomes more severe when you sit, especially if you have a wallet in your back pocket. Activities such as running, exercising, sitting for long, stretching the piriformis, and climbing stairs can also trigger the pain. The pain can fade or worsen depending on the activities you engage in and how long you stand or sit. Car rides over long distances can also make the pain more serious.
Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome
Working out muscles frequently makes them tighter and less flexible. If you focus on exercising your legs while leaving out your hips, the hips become stiff. The piriformis stretch can help you target this muscle with your workouts. Doing it a few times every week can help you prevent piriformis syndrome. Heat, deep tissue massage, trigger point balls, and other mobility aids can also help.
When you first notice symptoms of piriformis syndrome, you need to start treatment early. Your doctor can diagnose you and recommend an ideal treatment. Primary treatments include resting the muscle by avoiding activities that cause it to work, such as bike riding, running, squats, and deadlifts. Soft tissue massage focusing on the lumbosacral and gluteal areas can also help. Additionally, a therapist can administer manual manipulation, electrical stimulation, passive stretching, heating packs, dry needling, and other treatments.
Surgery is the last option for treatment, just like it is with other conditions. The surgery is relatively simple because it is almost similar to the early stages of a hip replacement, except it does not affect the nerve.
The piriformis syndrome affects the piriformis muscle found in the buttock. The primary cause of piriformis syndrome remains unknown. Some common symptoms include sciatica symptoms, muscle spasms, and muscle quivers. Treatment options include manual manipulation, heat packs, passive stretching, dry needling, and surgery as a last resort.