Piriformis Syndrome

Maybe you’ve got a pain in the butt? If it’s literally your rear end that hurts, there’s a specific muscle that may be at fault, the piriformis.

The piriformis is located near the glutes in the upper hip. Its job is to move your leg outward by rotation and abduction. Think of sitting down, crossing your leg, with ankle on opposite knee.

A normal piriformis is essential to walking and balance, and by extension most sports activities. Injuries typically occur through sports, exercise overuse, training errors, or trauma, but can also be caused by frequent and prolonged sitting. People can be prone to piriformis problems due to genetics.

Typically just one side is involved, but it can be both. Initial symptoms are pain and tingling in the buttock(s) progressing to numbness. Pain is usually triggered by activities and many sports activities become painful. Eventually the act of walking or sitting can be very uncomfortable. Further progression results in pain down the back of the leg due to irritation of the sciatic nerve, and now you’ve got ‘sciatica due to piriformis syndrome’.

Because the piriformis muscle has an instrumental role in walking and balance, once it’s irritated, it’s easily re-irritated, and the irritation is usually a persistent source of pain unless proactive steps are taken.

The good news is that piriformis injuries and piriformis syndrome can be effectively treated right here in the clinic. First line treatments involve electrical muscle stimulation, progressive stretching, mobilization and alignment. We will identify the cause, correct training errors and posture, and recommend return to activity plans.

We’ve had a lot of success with this condition, thus if you’ve got a pain in the butt, call 612-822-5973 to schedule an appointment.

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