Manage Back Pain

Piriformis Syndrome Treatment.

So, what is the most effective Piriformis Syndrome Treatment? Well, let's first take a closer look at this painful condition. I suffered from Piriformis syndrome myself last year - and by Goodness was it painful!!

I woke up one morning and had a deep ache in my bum - and as the day went on I developed a mild ache along the back and side of my leg in the pattern of sciatica. At this point I thought it may be arising from my lower back.

As I had to teach a Pilates class that evening I stretched my Piriformis muscle and realised how tight and sore it was. The next day I went to a colleague physiotherapist - who assessed my back and pelvis - and diagnosed me with an "overactive piriformis muscle".

She released the muscle and I followed up with stretches and postural positions to unload the piriformis. Thankfully, it resolved quickly - and with regular stretching it has not returned! Early detection was the key to a quick resolution in my situation!

What is Piriformis Syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a term used to describe pain arising from tightness and dysfunction of your piriformis muscle, causing compression and restriction to your sciatic nerve. The symptom is buttock pain!

piriformis syndrome treatment Your piriformis muscle runs across your sacrum, sacroiliac joint, and into your upper leg. It is one of the deep muscles within your buttock and the sciatic nerve passes close by!

Your sciatic nerve is a major nerve in your lower back and leg.

When your sciatic nerve is compressed it can cause Sciatica.

Sciatica is nerve pain which arises from your sciatic nerve and travels down your leg. Sciatica can be caused by many things, piriformis syndrome being one such cause. I believe many people are mis-diagnosed with the cause of their sciatica. Diagnosis is the key to the long term resolution of sciatica. As always removing and managing the cause is the only successful treatment of buttock pain and sciatica.

Every day I encounter clients who have had MRI scans to their lower backs from which disc prolapses have been identified. On many occasions they are told that their sciatic nerve is being compressed by these discs. However, on assessment their Piriformis muscle is overactive or tight causing their sciatic nerve to be compressed and their sciatic symptoms to be present.

Once their piriformis muscle is released their symptoms disappear! On extreme cases I have seen people who have had surgery to their backs as the treatment of choice to ease their sciatica.

After surgery their buttock pain is still there. After I treat their piriformis muscle their buttock pain disappears!

Ultimately, scans are not always conclusive in providing a correct diagnosis. Always seek a physiotherapist assessment of the cause of your sciatica as well as scans. Doing this usually leads to a quicker resolution of your symptoms.

What I am saying to you is that it is possible to have a prolapsed disc that is asymptomatic - that is the prolapse is not the cause of your lower back or leg pain. Pirifromis syndrome is a common alternative. However, it is one of many! Always seek a Chartered Physiotherapist/Physical therapist’s opinion before you and your doctor reach a conclusive diagnosis.

Your sciatic nerve can be compressed anywhere along its course. If any muscle or ligament that it passes by, or through, is tight or overactive they can squeeze your sciatic nerve. This compression can result in nerve pain in the form of sciatica.

Your piriformis muscle is a common muscle to cause such pain. Its situation deep in your buttock pre-disposes it to postural tightness. This tightness in turn can cause sciatica.

Piriformis syndrome treatment always involves removing the cause.

piriformis syndrome treatment
This involves postural correction, stretching the piriformis muscle and re-strengthening the related weakened muscles around your buttock. A chartered Physiotherapist/physical therapist will advise you on this. Results usually occur within days and a home programme is usually enough to prevent re-occurrence.

It often amazes me how a small structure can cause so much pain! Your piriformis muscle can be tight over a section as small as an inch and people often report 8/10 pain on assessment. Early intervention is the key to a quick resolution to your piriformis syndrome symptoms.

So, if you have a pain in your bum or upper legs seek early medical attention and physiotherapy advice to eliminate the possibility of piriformis syndrome and to ensure early treatment.

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The information on this web site does not replace specific medical advice. It should only be used to complement advice from your doctor. Always seek in-person advice from a doctor or other qualified health provider for your particular condition.