Piriformis Syndrome – A Literal Pain in the Butt
The piriformis muscle is located in the buttock region on the outside towards your hip. It is a long narrow muscle that runs from the attachment at the hip girdle wrapping around to the outside of the upper thigh/hip area. It covers the sciatic nerve and when irritated can swell and become inflamed. That inflammation can press on and irritate the sciatic nerve leading to Piriformis Syndrome and or Sciatica.
It can cause a range of uncomfortable issues. Numbness, tingling, pain, and even referred pain to the leg and back. It makes normal everyday activities like sitting, driving, and walking problematic.
The main cause is usually a trauma to the area, mainly a fall or series of falls on the same spot. It leads to soft tissue and muscle damage, muscle spasms, or both which can result in nerve compression. It can also be caused by overuse such as running or constantly sitting at a job for years.
Piriformis syndrome is sometimes misdiagnosed as low back pain. If not treated correctly it is unlikely to heal and may result in pain, muscle weakness, hyperethesia, or paresthesia. This syndrome is more commonly found in women than men because the pelvis is wider and at a more severe angle.
The most common problem presenting in patients is that sitting for greater than 20 minutes increases pain in the muscle itself. Symptoms may come on suddenly (after a fall) or be gradual onset. Sitting cross legged may also present a painful circumstance.
Other symptoms you may experience:
- Numbness all the way down the leg to the foot
- Difficulty walking
- Sacroiliac pain
- Changing positions does not relieve the pain
- Neck pain
- Pain improves with movement and worsens when you are still for a time.
- Though pain is throughout the buttock you can feel it most intensely in one central spot right where your weight rests when you sit.
Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome
Early treatment is the most effective. Ice, rest, muscle relaxants, chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and anti-inflammatory agents be it natural such as bromelain or turmeric or OTC remedies like ibuprofen and Tylenol. Stretching and exercise also have great benefit. The stronger and more loose the muscle the better you will feel.
If all manual and medicinal treatments fail, surgery may be necessary, but always consult with your family physician and chiropractor first for a non-surgical treatment plan.
Give the office of Kaster Chiropractic and Associates a call today at 239-332-2555 to schedule your appointment. Don’t settle for living with pain.