Everything You Should Know About Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is a disorder that affects the piriformis muscle in the buttocks. Newtown piriformis syndrome causes frequent spasms in your buttock muscles. The cramps may irritate your sciatic nerve, a sizable nerve that runs from your lower back down into your legs. Sciatica, a disorder that causes pain, tingling, and sensation in your legs, hips, and feet, can result from irritation of this nerve.

Although the primary cause of piriformis syndrome is unknown, muscle spasms may be brought on by an injury, inflammation, or bleeding in the region around the piriformis muscle.

Symptoms of piriformis syndrome

Sciatica is the primary symptom of piriformis syndrome. However, you may experience other symptoms. Mostly the discomfort is felt in an area of the body, such as the back of the leg. 

Some more frequent symptoms of piriformis syndrome include:

  • Tingling and numbness in the buttocks that may spread down the back of the leg
  • The discomfort of the muscles of the buttocks
  • Trouble sitting comfortably
  • Pain when sitting that gets worse the longer you sit
  • Soreness in the buttocks and legs that intensifies with exercise

Your legs and buttocks may experience excruciating pain in extreme cases of piriformis syndrome, to the point where it is incapacitating. You can lose the ability to carry out routine duties sitting at a computer, driving for some time, or doing the dishes.

Diagnosis of Piriformis syndrome

There is no specific test for the piriformis condition. The affected region has often experienced trauma, repetitively strenuous activities like long-distance running or extended sitting. To diagnose piriformis syndrome, the doctor uses the patient’s narrative of symptoms and a physical exam utilizing different motions to provoke discomfort in the piriformis muscle. A physical examination might reveal a constricted or painful piriformis muscle in rare situations.

To rule out further causes of sciatic nerve compression, such as a bulging disc, radiologic testing like MRIs may be necessary since symptoms might be similar in other disorders.

Treating piriformis syndrome

The best course of action is resting and avoiding situations or activities that worsen your piriformis syndrome symptoms.

Alternating between applying cold and heat to your legs or buttocks may help you feel better. To prevent an ice pack from contacting your skin directly, wrap it in a thin towel. For 15 to 20 minutes, leave the ice in place. After that, use a heating pad for roughly the same amount of time on low heat. To aid with pain relief, try that many times each hour.

You can ease your pain using over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve).

Without additional medical intervention, the piriformis syndrome-related discomfort and numbness could fade away. If not, physical therapy could be helpful for you. To increase the piriformis’ flexibility and strength, you will learn a variety of stretches and exercises.

Preventing Piriformis syndrome

Since Piriformis syndrome is often brought on by activities like jogging or lunging regularly straining the piriformis muscle, proper form is essential for prevention. Run or exercise on flat, level ground instead. Before engaging in an activity, warm up correctly and gradually build intensity. When you are exercising or walking, have a healthy posture. If you have discomfort, stop what you are doing and take some time to relax. When necessary, consult a doctor.

Call Performance Pain and Sports Medicine to book your appointment for Piriformis syndrome treatment.