Piriformis Syndrome

Definition:

  • A condition where the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain to the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve

  • The referred pain is called “sciatica”

How:

  • Acute or chronic injury to the piriformis results in swelling of the muscle and irritation of the nerve

  • The sciatic nerve usually passes underneath the piriformis muscle, however 15% of the time the nerve will pass through the muscle

  • Those who have the nerve passing through the muscle are predisposed to this condition

  • Biomechanical problems such as over pronation of the foot or other coexisting conditions

Symptoms:

  • Pain worse with sitting, climbing stairs, or performing squats.

  • Pain into the buttocks and “sciatica”

  • Relief of pain when walking

  • Can have associated tingling and numbness throughout the sciatic nerve distribution

  • Tenderness at the greater trochanter – bump on the outside of the upper thigh

Treatment:

  • Ice massage – 3-5 minutes with an ice cup

  • Progressive piriformis stretching

  • Adjusting of the low back and pelvis

  • Soft tissue mobilizations of the piriformis muscle to relieve spasms

  • Orthotics

  • Custom made orthotics through Biomechanical Services can be made for you at Gallagher Chiropractic and Sports Medicine.


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