Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome

Description Of The Injury: When the piriformis muscle squeezes and aggravates the sciatic nerve, radiating pain is caused through the hip and leg. The piriformis muscle is located inside the pelvis, very close to the sciatic nerve which is a large nerve extending from the spinal cord to the end of the feet. When inflamed, the piriformis muscle may rub against and irritate the sciatic nerve.

Injury Symptoms: The most common sign of piriformis syndrome is pain felt in the inside of the pelvis that radiates to the lower back, buttocks and down the back of the leg. The pain will make sitting down and maintaining a single position for a prolonged period of time difficult.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

In order to properly treat piriformis treatment, one should compress the affected buttocks and thigh area with elastic bandage. The leg should be elevated above heart level and be rested. Ice packs should be administered 20 minutes at a time, 4-8 times per day for the first three days. A non steroidal anti inflammatory drug or a common painkiller may be used to help treat the inflammation and pain. Physical activity should be gradually resumed.

Professional Medical Treatments:

Piriformis syndrome that does not positively react to home treatment may need professional treatment. This can include a lidocaine injection to relax the muscles around the sciatic nerve or a cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation of the piriformis muscle. Surgery is a last resort consideration.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

In order to fully recover from piriformis syndrome, stretching and exercise of the area is necessary. This includes the following: lower trunk rotation, figure four stretch, knee to opposite shoulder stretch, pigeon pose stretch and the standing quad stretch. The ability to gradually perform these stretches and exercises without pain or limitation in mobility are good signs of complete recovery from this injury.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

Properly warming up and cooling down before and after physical activity is a good way to prevent piriformis syndrome. This includes thigh and hip related stretches such as the forward lung, the wall stretch, the sitting crossed leg stretch and the figure four. Keeping appropriate strength of the hip area by engaging in impact activities such as jogging and strength training exercises such as the leg press and the squat is also helpful.

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