What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome makes its appearance when the sciatic nerve gets caught up around the ischial tuberosity “also known as the sitting bone” – that bony prominence in your hip. Now, while there’s a whole mix of things that can throw this syndrome into action, the way it shows up is pretty consistent. Imagine this: folks often talk about a real pain in the gluteal region that feels like it’s shooting, burning, or just nagging down the back of their leg. And that’s not all – numbness decides to join the party in the buttocks, while tingling sensations run wild along the sciatic nerve’s pathway. It’s like a sci-fi adventure playing out in your own body!

The sciatic nerve and the piriformis muscle are like neighbors, living right next to each other in your hip. Now, the piriformis muscle’s job is to make your hip rotate outward. But here’s the twist – when this muscle gets all cranky and inflamed, it starts bothering its neighbor, the sciatic nerve. The result? It’s like having a sneak preview of sciatica – with all that nerve pain shooting down your leg.

Now, here’s the catch – diagnosing piriformis syndrome isn’t a walk in the park. Doctors have to put on their detective hats and rely on your clinical history and how you present your symptoms. And here’s the plot twist – there are other conditions that can pull off the same act and mimic the symptoms of piriformis syndrome. Think lumbar canal stenosis, disc inflammation, or issues in your pelvic area. It’s like a mystery novel where the clues aren’t always what they seem!


How do you identify piriformis syndrome symptoms?

Piriformis syndrome can be easily misdiagnosed as herniated disc, sciatica, a proximal hamstring strain (also known as high hamstring tendinitis), or a lower back issue. Here are several primary symptoms that can aid in identifying whether the piriformis muscle is the origin of your discomfort:

  • Hurts to sit or pain in the buttock: 
  • Difficulty sitting for Long periods of time
  • Numbness and tingling in the buttock and down the leg
  • Weakness or difficulty moving the leg

Less Common symptoms may include:

Bilateral Piriformis Syndrome: – research suggests that people with Piriformis syndrome can occur in the right and left buttocks and both legs at the same time. 

Alternating Symptoms: – Piriformis may alternate between both legs, this may suggest the presence of degenerate problems in the SI Joint coexisting with Piriformis syndrome. 

Symptoms that start after Pregnancy: –  Piriformis syndrome may develop months after pregnancy due to the elongation and strain of gluteal muscles in the pelvis.

Groin pain and numbness: – Piriformis syndrome may cause groin pain and numbness due to the impingement of the pudendal nerve, a sensory and motor nerve that passes below the piriformis muscle and supplies the groin area.

How we can help you:

First Dr. Wendy Brackeen, will assess your range of motion, and your flexibility. Dr. Wendy will assess your mobility and Between a combination of spinal and extremity adjustments, chiropractic care can help to take the pressure of overly tight areas, realign your body, and keep your nervous system functioning properly.

Massage therapy helps to ease and relax muscle tension, releasing the lumbar, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and the piriformis. Soft tissue release can help to remove adhesions, scar tissue, and can help to realign the tissues.

Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment; let’s work together to address this issue and help you get back on track to better health.

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