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Piriformis Syndrome

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is a rare neuromuscular disorder that occurs when the piriformis muscle compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. The piriformis muscle is a narrow muscle located in the buttocks.

Compression of the sciatic nerve causes pain. The pain is frequently described as tingling or numbness in the buttocks down to the leg. The pain may worsen as a result of sitting for a long period of time, climbing stairs, walking, or running.

Piriformis syndrome is also called sciatic pain.

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome?

The most common symptom of piriformis syndrome is deep buttock and posterior hip pain. Other common symptoms are pain, numbness, and tingling, that radiates into the posterior thigh, leg, and foot.

Once symptoms are addressed, individuals can usually resume their normal activities. In some cases, exercise regimens may need to be modified in order to reduce the likelihood of piriformis reoccurring or worsening.

What Causes Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Pressure on the sciatic nerve is caused by:

  1. Pressure caused by shortening and tightening of the piriformis muscle.
  2. Pressure caused by spinal stenosis. This is caused by uneven pressure and compression in the vertebral column.
  3. Pressure caused by Isthmic spondylolisthesis. Isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebrae slips or moves.
  4. Pressure caused by a herniated or bulging disc.

Can Piriformis Syndrome be treated?

Piriformis syndrome can be treated . Treatment usually involves stretching exercises and massage. Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to relieve inflammation and reduce pain. Cessation of running, bicycling, or similar activities may be advised.

In some cases, a corticosteroid injection near where the piriformis muscle and the sciatic nerve will be administered to provide temporary relief. In rare cases, surgery is needed.

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