What is Piriformis Syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome can be described as a disorder where the piriformis muscle situated in the buttock area can spasm and cause buttock discomfort. The piriformis muscle can irritate the sciatic nerve nearby and trigger pain, numbness, and tingling in the rear of the leg and to the feet.
The piriformis muscles:
- The spine begins at the lower portion and joins with the upper part of each femur (thighbone)
- It assists in rotating the hip and turning the foot and leg inward
- It runs diagonally, with the Sciatic nerve flowing vertically below it (although for some, the nerve might be able to run through the muscle)
What does Piriformis Syndrome feel like?
The initial sign of Piriformis syndrome is typically tenderness or tingling within the buttocks. The pain may quickly grow extreme and radiate down throughout the whole leg. The pain is most severe when running, walking, or sitting. Other common symptoms are pains when going upstairs or climbing on slopes and restricted hip mobility.
What are the causes of Piriformis Syndrome?
Although various factors may cause the development of piriformis-related syndrome, the precise cause is not yet known. Some possible contributing factors are;
- Muscle spasms in the piriformis muscle can be caused by irritation to the muscle or the nearby structure, such as the hip joint, sacroiliac joint, or the hip.
- The muscle is tightened as a response to injury or spasms.
- Swelling of the piriformis muscles caused by an injury or spasm
- The area of the piriformis muscles
Any of the issues mentioned above or any combination of them could affect the muscle, which can cause pain in the buttocks and the nearby sciatic nerve (causing discomfort, tingling, or numbness in your back, calf, thigh, and foot).
What is Piriformis Disorder diagnosed?
There is no test definitive for piriformis syndrome, and the diagnosis is made by determining other possible sources of pain in the sciatic. The diagnosis is made by taking a medical history and performing a physical exam.
Your doctor will go over your medical history and could inquire about specifics of the length and severity of the discomfort. By examining your medical history, your doctor will determine whether injuries or arthritis could cause the pain you are experiencing.
The doctor will also look at your legs and hips to determine what type of movement is causing your pain. The doctor will examine your muscles for strength and check whether there is tenderness or pain in your hip and lower back.
Imaging tests and X-rays might be necessary to determine other possibilities for the cause of your discomfort, such as herniated discs.
How to stop Piriformis Syndrome
Proper posture and proper posture when performing physical activities is essential to avoid piriformis syndrome. Be sure to warm up before any physical activity, and increase the intensity gradually. Do not do too much running or working out on hills or uneven terrain. If you experience discomfort, stop what you’re doing and take a break until the pain disappears.
3 Best Exercises to Treat Piriformis Syndrome
1. Hip Rotator Stretch
- Lay on your back, with both knees bent and your feet flat on the flooring.
- Place the ankle of your leg to the opposite side of your thigh, close to your knee.
- Utilize your hand to gently move your knee (on your leg) towards your back until it feels like a soft stretching around your hip.
- Hold the stretch in place for 15-30 seconds.
- Repeat the process two up to four times.
- Change legs, and repeat steps 1 through 5.
2. Piriformis Stretch
- Relax on your back, lying on it with the legs in a straight position.
- Lift your leg that is affected and bend your knee. Then, using the opposite hand, you can reach across your body and gradually pull your knee towards the opposite shoulder.
- Hold the stretch in place for 15-30 seconds.
- Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
- Repeat the process 2 to 4 times per side.
3. Lower Abdominal Strengthening
- Lay on your back, and bend your knees. Remain your feet flat on the floor.
- The abdominal muscles should be tightened with a pull of your belly button towards your spine.
- Lift one of your feet off the floor and pull your knee toward your chest. Ensure the knee rests straight over your hip, and the leg bends as”L. “L.”
- The other knee should be lifted until it is in the same position.
- Begin by lowering one leg at a stretch until it is at the starting point.
- Alternate legs until the portion are up between 8 and 12 times.
- Keep your abdominal muscles tight and your back straight as you move your legs. Make sure you breathe in the usual way.
Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition that can go unnoticed for a long time because the symptoms can be subtle. Most people don’t realize they have it until they experience a flare-up of pain that disrupts their day-to-day activities. If you have been diagnosed with Piriformis Syndrome, it is vital to take the necessary precautions to get rid of the pain as early as possible.