Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica
Piriformis syndrome and sciatica is one of the most common problems that I deal with in my office. The majority of clients that come in to my office that mention sciatica actually have piriformis syndrome. The difference is that true sciatica is usually caused by problems with the actual spine such as, narrowing of the spine, degenerative discs or a slipped disc. You can call Piriformis syndrome a type of Sciatica, it is very painful and very debilitating but caused by your piriformis muscle compressing on your sciatic nerve. The only good thing about piriformis syndrome is the fact that it is muscle related and can be treated with massage effectively. Unfortunately it is extremely debilitating that it makes simple tasks such as getting out bed or sitting in your car very difficult because of the twisting motion. Also directly massaging your piriformis may be uncomfortable but necessary to release the tight hypertonic muscle.
Symptoms of piriformis syndrome are pain and sensitivity in the glute region and can radiate down the leg. The sciatic nerve originates almost directly beneath the piriformis muscle. If the piriformis muscle gets tight or hyper tonic it can compress down on the sciatic nerve and that is the source of piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is responsible for external rotation of the thigh or turning the thigh outwards. Piriformis syndrome can be caused by trauma like getting hit in the area or repetitive activity with inadequate rest. Also, weakness in the core and glutes can cause trouble in the piriformis muscle by increasing its demand when we move and eventually overloading the piriformis.
This is why prevention is always key to keeping a functional body and keeping pain free. It is always better to strengthen and stretch your muscles to avoid injury and pain. The quicker that you seek treatment the quicker you’ll be on your way to restoring normal function and movement. Although staying still feels more bearable you need to keep moving and stretching to release tightness in the muscle.
If you are experiencing hip and low back pain please come in to get moving toward a pain free lifestyle.